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24/06/2011 - Wimbledon aces set for court battle over luxury Phuket property

24/06/2011 - Wimbledon aces set for court battle over luxury Phuket property

According to a report in UK tabloid, The Daily Mail, former Wimbledon star David Lloyd is being sued by his friend and colleague Greg Rusedski.

Rusedski is demanding that Lloyd returns the £740,000 (US$1.2 million) he and his wife Lucy invested in Lloyd’s Cape Sawan luxury villa project in Phuket, Thailand.

Lloyd claims the money was paid as a loan by the Rusedskis to his company David Lloyd Asia Co. Ltd. The Rusedskis deny they ever agreed to loan the money to David Lloyd Asia Co. Ltd. and are disputing what Lloyd claims are the repayment terms.

In a High Court writ issued to Lloyd through Rusedski’s London lawyers, Carter-Ruck, the Rusedski’s say that after three years Lloyd has failed to give them an account of how their investment was being spent.

“In breach of fiduciary duty the Defendant [Mr David Lloyd] has failed to account to the Claimants’ [Greg and Lucy Rusedski] reasonable request for information and/or disclosure of documents concerning the Rusedski money,” reads an extract from the writ.

The Rusedski’s are demanding that the money be paid back in full, plus interest and any profit made from it.

A spokesman for Lloyd was quoted saying; “Mr Lloyd is astonished and personally disappointed that Mr and Mrs Rusedski have instigated this spurious and opportunistic claim.”

The Daily Mail reported that Lloyd had responded to Rusedski’s repeated requests for answers by stating that the project had fallen behind schedule due to the economic crisis and civil unrest in Thailand.

One source close to Lloyd commented; “Rusedski will get his money back once the villas start selling. The villas are still being built and won’t be ready until early next year.”

In fact, in the three years since Cape Sawan’s inception there has been little progress and no villas have been built. The site looks little more than bare land where large land plots have been marked out and then abandoned.

Cape Sawan was launched in 2008 and is set on a hillside between Patong and Kamala in Phuket, Thailand. The project initially offered twenty seven luxury villas for sale on forty acres of land. The development is located on one of the few remaining ocean-front land plots on the West Coast of Phuket.

Speaking about the site a few years ago David Lloyd commented; “They say you should always buy ‘blue chip’. Such land will never lose its value. I don’t believe there is any doubt about this. Villas at the very top end have been by far the strongest segment of the Phuket property market throughout the last few years, of a slower world economy. There is still much activity and the pace is picking up”.

David Lloyd and his brother John were two of the most successful British tennis players during the 1970 and 80s.

David was part of the last Great Britain team to reach the Davis Cup final in California in 1978.

In 1995 he became captain of the British Davis Cup team but in January 2000 he was sacked after criticising the fitness of some of his players by saying; “they were not fit enough to compete at international level.” He was replaced by the Yorkshireman Roger Taylor.

"I don't see [Manchester United manager Alex] Ferguson being sacked for criticising David Beckham," Lloyd complained after his dismissal by the Lawn Tennis Association.

He has since become an outspoken figure in The Lawn Tennis Association and founded the David Lloyd Leisure Clubs, Next Generation Fitness Clubs and David Lloyd Resorts.

In 1997 he bought Hull City A.F.C. but sold the football club in November 1998 to a South Yorkshire based consortium.

Lloyd is also known for coaching Tim Henman, when Henman was part of the ‘David Lloyd Slater Squad’ as a youngster.

Greg Rusedski is a British Canadian who turned professional in 1991. He is a former British number one who rose as high as number four in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world rankings.

In April 2007 Rusedski retired from tennis after winning a doubles victory over the Netherlands in a Davis Cup match with partner Jamie Murray - the brother of Andy Murray.

He currently works for the Lawn Tennis Association as a talent and performance ambassador.

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