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Tennis: GB suffer without Murray to call on.

JOHN LLOYD'S Davis Cup rookies failed to fill the void left by Andy Murray as Great Britain slumped to within one rubber of defeat against Ukraine.

Josh Goodall was beaten in straight sets by Illya Marchenko in yesterday's opening singles match, and although fellow debutant Chris Eaton did well to take a set off Sergiy Stakhovsky, Britain will have to win all three remaining rubbers to avoid a relegation play-off from Euro/Africa Zone Group One.

Murray's withdrawal with a virus from the tie at Glasgow's Braehead Arena saw the home side plummet from the position of odds-on favourites to marginal outsiders.

With Stakhovsky ranked 258 places above Eaton, it appeared vital that Goodall - who had assumed the mantle of British number one in the absence of Murray - got his team off to a flying start.

But not since Andrew Richardson beat Zimbabwe's Byron Black 12 years ago has a Briton other than Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski won a live Davis Cup singles rubber.

And despite outranking Marchenko by 32 places, Goodall was unable to deliver.

Eaton served and volley superbly at times but his opponent ran out a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 winner.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2009
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