Rusedski clinches Davis Cup win

Last updated at 10:09 07 March 2005

Greg Rusedski secured Great Britain's place back in September's Davis Cup World Group qualifying round with a comprehensive victory over Israeli number one Noam Okun in Tel Aviv.

Rusedski's emphatic 6-3 6-4 6-2 triumph sealed an unassailable 3-1 lead for his team in this Euro-African Zone Group I clash with one remaining dead rubber still to come.

The British team leader was clearly in no mood to undo the good work of his team's debut doubles stars yesterday and took just one hour and 46 minutes to complete the job.

Rusedski said: "I came in here with the pressure and expectation that had I not won both my matches things might have been different.

"But I played the big points very well, I never dropped serve and I was extremely convincing. I got better in every set and that was a very positive thing for me today."

Rusedski had quickly shrugged off those increased expectations which went with the retirement of Tim Henman from the competition two months ago.

Instead he led by example to complete a task he had started in style with a straight sets win over Israel's number two Harel Levy on the opening day.

Rusedski grabbed his crucial first set break in the fourth game and never broke sweat on his own serve to claim the advantage within the first half-hour.

Rusedski seizes his chance

Okun responded better to the encouraging home crowd in the second, but failed to convert either of two break point opportunities in Rusedski's first service game of the second set.

Instead Rusedski seized his own chance to go 5-4 up before serving out comfortably to increase his advantage.

There was never any way back for Okun and two early breaks at the start of the third set sealed the fate of a player who had impressed in his Friday win over Alex Bogdanovic.

Rusedski's commanding final service game ended when Okun flopped a return wide and sparked jubilant on-court scenes with his team-mates and captain Jeremy Bates.

Rusedski added: "We have got the match we want now and have a step to get back into the world's top 16.

"That is exciting because we have six months for the younger players to come on and hopefully there will be even more new faces on the team in September.

"I am looking forward to continuing to play Davis Cup and as long as I am still wanted on the team I will be there."

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now