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Tennis: Parmar's Aussie ambition.

Byline: MICHAEL JAMES

DAVIS CUP candidate Arvind Parmar is hoping his performances Down Under will convince Great Britain coach Roger Taylor to select him for next month's tie against Australia.

The 24-year-old believes his current form may be enough to force his way into an injury-hit line-up already without the services of British No.2 Greg Rusedski with doubts remaining over No.1 Tim Henman.

Parmar's spirits were lifted by an unexpected first-round win over Israel's Harel Levy in the AAPT Championships in Adelaide on Tuesday.

And although he crashed out in straight sets to unheralded Belgian Kristof Vliegen in the second round yesterday, the Hitchin-born player feels he might be able to do enough in the few weeks before Taylor names his team.

Parmar said last night: "I didn't play well at all today. I got off to a bad start and was sluggish.

"But I think I helped my chances of getting selected for the team.

"We spoke before I left for Australia and Roger said it was very open still as, at that point, he did not know whether he had Greg and Tim.

"He knows where he now stands with Greg. He said the team hadn't picked itself and the door was still open."

Henman is still hopeful he will be fit for the tie, despite withdrawing from the Australian Open which starts on January 13.

But with Rusedski and British No.3 Martin Lee injured, there are opportunities for Miles Maclagan, Parmar, youngster Alex Bogdanovic and Jamie Delgado.

Maclagan partnered Henman to doubles victory over Thailand in September but Parmar's baseline game may also make him suited to the clay court encounter against world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and, if fit, Mark Philippoussis.

Parmar's last chance to impress is in the Australian Open.

"My goal is not getting selected for the Davis Cup team, it is to keep winning my matches and obviously the Davis Cup will come from that," he added.

"I think you can put added pressure on yourself worrying about whether you are going to be in the team and that doesn't do anyone any good.

"Everyone loves to play for their country but the way I can do that is keep winning and hopefully I can do well in the Australian Open."

CAPTION(S):

PARMAR: Cup dream; TAYLOR: Undecided
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2003
Words:388
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