Australia plan clay court

10-10-2002, 09:51 AM
Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Australia could be played on a clay court.
Australian captain Wally Masur is considering the option because he is wary of the grasscourt threat from Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

A decision will be made over the next few weeks after Masur has spoken to world number one Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis.

Australia's 3-2 Davis Cup final triumph over France at Nice in 1999 was on a clay surface.

The tie against Great Britain is scheduled to begin on 7 February.

King Aaron
10-10-2002, 10:59 AM
:o But can Mark play well on clay?

10-10-2002, 11:06 AM
he can play alot better than Tim or Greg and thats what matters :D

10-10-2002, 11:20 AM
No way! They will play on some sort of hard court

10-10-2002, 07:54 PM
I think Masur is just playing mind games.

Chloe le Bopper
10-10-2002, 08:04 PM
Can Mark play well on clay?

Hello Nice !

10-10-2002, 08:22 PM
Mark can crush both Tim & Greg on clay cuz his game is miles better than theirs. & he tends to play fairly well in DC. Go Aus :D

10-11-2002, 12:29 AM
Yeah, but Mark can play well on hardcourts too, so they will probably pick a hardcourt (which Lleyton would prefer)

10-11-2002, 01:25 AM
what Sophie said...i'll wait for the official annoucement. Masur is probably trying to mess with Safin's head...;)

Ace Tracker
10-11-2002, 02:00 AM
and guess what, the Brits are feeling kinda confident, as expressed on this report by the BBC:

Great Britain have been handed what looks to be a nightmare draw away to Australia in next year's Davis Cup.

The Australians will have home advantage, the choice of surface, world number one Lleyton Hewitt, and the comforting fact that they have not lost to Britain since 1912.

But with Pat Rafter seemingly gone forever and Mark Philippoussis only an occasional starter, there is hope for Britain providing Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski make the trip.

BBC Sport Online takes a look at just how strong the Australians are:


No.1 singles: Lleyton Hewitt

Hewitt will carry a heavy burden for Australia

The world number one will rightly be the favourite whoever he takes on and has a perfect 6-0 record against British number one Henman.

But Hewitt has lost some important Davis Cup matches in his time, and will face one of his bogey players in Rusedski, who loves playing the Australian.


No.2 singles: Mark Philippoussis

Another Australian who likes playing Henman but struggles against Rusedski, even at this stage the 26-year-old must be a major doubt.

Injury problems have plagued Philippoussis over the last two years and he has had an uncomfortable relationship, at best, with his Davis Cup team-mates in the past.


Reserve singles: Wayne Arthurs, Scott Draper, Andrew Ilie

Britain may have an alarming lack of strength in depth but should Philippoussis fail to make it, Australia have nobody outside Hewitt to match the top two Britons.

Only Arthurs should be capable of troubling Henman and Rusedski, and even he would be an underdog against two players consistently ranked much higher.


Doubles: Todd Woodbridge + Lleyton Hewitt/Wayne Arthurs

Henman and Rusedski are hardly a natural doubles pairing but they have performed well when called upon.

Saturday should still be a good day for the Aussies, however, providing doubles legend Todd Woodbridge is alongside the leading singles player.


Australia are one of the few teams in the World Group who are almost as uncomfortable on clay as the British duo are.

Spain, Argentina and Russia would have undoubtedly forced Henman and Rusedski play on a surface on which neither has covered themselves in glory.

But Hewitt, though adept on clay, much prefers a faster hard surface and the likes of Philippoussis, Arthurs and Woodbridge have never shone on the red stuff.


Great Britain's reliance on Henman in last month's win over Thailand was embarrassing for the home side, but Australia could well depend on Hewitt just as much.

The best hope for Roger Taylor's men could be to win three of the four singles matches.

And that raises the prospect of Rusedski taking on Hewitt in a deciding rubber that the Briton will believe he can win.

10-11-2002, 02:48 AM
I've seen that and LMAO

that is so biased its unbelievable
take out one of Tim or Greg
and GB would struggle to win a Davis Gp Euro/Africa zone tie away from home against anyone

Go Nalby
10-11-2002, 03:05 AM
Does Australia host any clay-court tournaments? There used to be a rule that a Davis Cup-hosting country could only play on a surface that was used at a tournament in their country. Unless the rule has been discontinued.

10-11-2002, 03:23 AM
pretty sure that rule went away along time ago
what about countries that have no ATP events ??

you can play on any surface you like as long as its certified by the ITF as standard

Chloe le Bopper
10-11-2002, 09:16 AM
It isn't even set in stone that Mark will play is it?

I mean, he will make his comeback from injury at the start of next season I would assume, but even then if he isn't 100% I dont imagine (and hope) that he would play.

10-11-2002, 12:26 PM
good point Rebecca. his knees are such a mess, it's a wonder the poor guy can even walk!

10-11-2002, 01:53 PM
who's to say Greg will be fit either :)

then they can play a 12 yr old and still win the other matches :D

10-11-2002, 10:04 PM
they should choose hardcourt,not's right that british are crappy on clay but aussie too :p hewitt played very bad on clay and philippoussis apart from davis cup final in 99 he didnt have other great results in clay.
on hard they cant lose anyway...hewitt will never lose to henman or to an injured rusesdki and the aussie double is much better on hard than on clay!if they choose clay,it will be an other stupid choice from Fitzgerald (after Hewitt-Rafter in davis cup final in double..that was the most stupid thing in the world!!) :p