British Davis Cup captain resigns after loss to Israel
LONDON -- Jeremy Bates has resigned as Great Britain's Davis Cup captain in the wake of his team's embarrassing 3-2 defeat by Israel in Eastbourne over the weekend.
Bates informed Lawn Tennis Association officials of his decision to quit Monday afternoon, but will stay on his current role as the governing body's interim head of performance.
Bates widely had been expected to stand down after the loss, which will mean Great Britain faces a playoff with Ukraine in September to avoid dropping into Euro-African Zone Group II.
Bates' reign, which began in April 2004 against Luxembourg after he succeeded Roger Taylor, yielded just two wins from six matches in charge.
"I have enjoyed my time as Davis Cup captain and it has been a privilege both to do the job and to work with the players," Bates said. "I would like to thank all the players who have been in the team for the tremendous work that they put in. ... The highlight of my time as captain was undoubtedly the victory against Israel away last year.
"I intend to work with those who have a passion for British tennis in creating a production line of future world-class players, as I believe that we can be a force in world tennis and I want to focus my energies on contributing to this going forward."
Meanwhile, LTA chief executive Roger Draper paid tribute to Bates' work during his period as captain and insisted he would still have an important role to play.
"I would like to thank Jeremy for his dedication over the last three years as captain," Draper said. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in his broader coaching role at the LTA. As we redesign the LTA, Jeremy will be an important part of our team going forward.
"The tie against the Ukraine will come around very quickly and although we hope to make a permanent appointment shortly, I would consider appointing an interim captain should that be necessary."