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At least the innocent were spared possible humiliation. Even though Britain lost to Austria 3-2 last weekend and remain in the second division of the Davis Cup, Jeremy Bates was wise to resist selecting either Alex Bogdanovic, a 20-year-old ATP Tour apprentice, or Andrew Murray, a 17-year-old junior Grand Slam champion.
To argue that Bogdanovic and Murray had nothing to lose against high-class opponents would be to overlook the casualty rate among promising British youngsters thrust into the limelight. James Baily, who disappeared without trace after winning the junior title at the 1993 Australian Open, is a case in point.