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Mallory takes blame for team’s past failings

Back in action: Manders, Bascome, Towlson and Thomas will again represent Bermuda in the Davis Cup, although this time it will be without Mallory

Steve Bean, the non-playing captain, is the only change to the team that will represent Bermuda at this year’s Davis Cup America’s Zone Group Three in Bolivia from the one that competed at the previous tournament in Panama.

Bean has replaced Ricky Mallory who has shouldered the blame for Bermuda’s poor showing in Panama last year where they lost all of their ties and won just one match, a dead rubber doubles match against Trinidad and Tobago.

“Unfortunately last year was a bit of disappointment for the team on how we performed in Panama,” Mallory, who is also the national tennis director, said. “I was the coach of the team last year and take full responsibility for the players not being prepared and falling short of our goal.”

Bermuda’s squad again comprises of top foursome Gavin Manders, Jensen Bascome, Neal Towlson and David Thomas.

“Gavin will more than likely start in the number two position with David in the number one position,” Mallory said. “You still have Neal who can play singles and don’t count Jenson out of still having a go at singles.

“This year Steve Bean will be coaching the team and as a coach you always want your team to do well.

“There’s certain goals and expectations that are set prior to each Davis Cup. You always want to better your last result.”

Bermuda have yet to gain promotion from Group Three in Davis Cup history.

The island’s team have arrived in Bolivia early to allow themselves to get familiar with the local conditions.

“The team has arrived four days earlier to get acclimated to the high altitude and pressureless balls,” Mallory said.

The tournament is being held on the hard court surface at the Club de Tenis La Paz and runs from July 11 to 16.

Participating countries will be divided into two pools and play on a round robin basis. The winners of each pool will play the runners up from the remaining pool in a play-off to determine which two countries will be promoted to the America’s Zone Group II next year.

The tournament draw will be made during tomorrow’s captain’s meeting.

Other countries participating are Bahamas, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and hosts Bolivia.