The Solihull-born player was the man who carried the British tennis flag almost single-handedly before Tim Henman and Company arrived on the scene, and he still loves to compete. Such an appetite was proven here at the Royal Albert Hall in 2001 when he pushed John McEnroe all the way to a third set Championsâ tie-break, and beat Henri Leconte.
Anything would be better than the fate that bequeathed him in 2003 however, when, after an impressive win over former World No.1 Mats Wilander and another final set tie-break loss against McEnroe, he injured the cruciate ligaments in his knee. The injury required surgery, put him on crutches for several months and forced him to wear a knee brace for many more. But a stoic determination finally saw him return to action this year fully-fit and raring to go.
Batesâs tenure as Davis Cup captain began January 2004 with a win over Luxembourg. That set up a promotion play-off against Austria, which Britain narrowly lost in the fifth rubber. It would prove to be the final Davis Cup tie that Tim Henman would play, Henman retired from national duty at the start of 2005. Bate's retired from being British Davis Cup captain in August 2006.
As a player, Bates reached No.54 in the world, twice advancing to the last 16 of Wimbledon. His five set match against Guy Forget in the fourth round, when he held match point, was particularly memorable. He also won the Australian Open and Wimbledon mixed doubles titles with Jo Durie.
Film: Life of Brian
Book: Robert Ludlum books
Song: Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Meal: Nasi Goreng
Luxury Item: Ipod
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