Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lloyd Faces Axe as LTA Start Probe into Cup Humiliation; Captain Set to Pay the Price for Fifth Defeat in a Row after British Tennis Chief Launches 'Swift and Decisive' Review. by Chris Jones

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lloyd Faces Axe as LTA Start Probe into Cup Humiliation; Captain Set to Pay the Price for Fifth Defeat in a Row after British Tennis Chief Launches 'Swift and Decisive' Review. by Chris Jones

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

ROGER DRAPER today ordered an immediate review of Britain's Davis Cup disaster against Lithuania and admitted the loss was "unacceptable."

The chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association has acted in the wake of the team's fifth defeat in a row, which has left them in danger of dropping into the bottom tier of men's tennis.

LTA player director Steve Martens has been asked to prepare a report on the crisis and one of the main recommendations looks certain to be the end of John Lloyd's reign as Cup captain. That will leave the governing body with a compensation bill as Lloyd has 18 months to run on his contract.

However, Draper's position is not up for review and he said: "I share the deep disappointment and frustration at this result. Five defeats in a row is unacceptable.

"I have asked Steven Martens, to review last week's performance and result, and report back to me and the LTA main board as soon as possible. That review needs to be swift and decisive as it is clear some real improvements need to be made."

The continuing role of Paul Annacone, the former coach of Pete Sampras, who is on a six-figure salary to head up men's tennis will also be part of the review although Martens refuses to confirm that Greg Rusedski could become the new Cup captain.

Some reports suggested the former world No4 had been lined up to replace Lloyd and lead Britain in their Europe/ Africa Zone Group Three relegation match against Turkey in July. Should Britain lose that tie they would drop into the same group as San Marino, Andorra and Montenegro.

Draper has been in charge of the sport for four years and has overseen the building of a fantastic headquarters in Roehampton and enjoyed some degree of success in the women's game with three players -- Elena Baltacha, world No65, Katie O'Brien (100) and Anne Keothavong (123) -- all making great strides. …

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