British tennis slumps to new low

BRITISH tennis plummeted to an all-time low yesterday after Dan Evans crashed to defeat in the decisive singles rubber to hand Lithuania a shock 3-2 victory in the Davis Cup.

Evans crashed in five sets to world No521 Laurynas Grigelis after James Ward was earlier defeated by Ricardas Berankis.

Britain must now face Turkey, who lost to Ireland this weekend, in a relegation play-off in July to avoid dropping to Europe/Africa Zone Group III – the lowest tier in the competition.

Defeat also increases the pressure on captain John Lloyd, who becomes the first British skipper in 110 years to suffer five straight losses.

Lithuania have just three professional players and an annual budget of just £90,000, compared to British tennis, which earns £25m from staging the Wimbledon championships alone.