Long wait over as Mur­ray wins Davis Cup for Bri­tain

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

GHENT: Bri­tain won the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years in Ghent yes­ter­day when Andy Mur­ray de­feated David Gof­fin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the first of the re­verse sin­gles to take an un­beat­able 3-1 lead over Bel­gium.

It was a fit­ting cli­max for the 28-year-old Scot to pro­vide the win­ning point, hav­ing won all 11 rub­bers he played in dur­ing the cam­paign as the Bri­tish de­feated heavy­weights United States, France and Aus­tralia be­fore the clincher against Bel­gium.

The win over Gof­fin made him just the third player, af­ter John McEn­roe and Mats Wi­lan­der, to win all eight sin­gles in the same cal­en­dar year since the Davis Cup World Group started in 1981. And it un­der­pinned Mur­ray’s place in ten­nis history fol­low­ing his head­line-making wins in the 2012 US Open and Olympics, and at Wim­ble­don the fol­low­ing year.

He is only the third player to win Wim­ble­don, Olympic sin­gles gold and the Davis Cup in the Open era af­ter Rafael Nadal and An­dre Agassi “I never thought we would have the op­por­tu­nity to do this and I can’t be­lieve we have done it. Ev­ery­one who has played has played an un­be­liev­ably high level,” Mur­ray said court­side im­me­di­ately af­ter his tri­umph.

“We have to enjoy this be­cause we may never get the op­por­tu­nity again. “The Aus­tralian Open is next. I have lost in the fi­nal four times. I need to learn a few things about how I have han­dled this week­end. I will try to do that in Aus­tralia. “I will enjoy this one.” Mur­ray’s mother and men­tor early in his ca­reer, Judy, who saw her two sons sup­ply all three Bri­tish points in Ghent, tweeted: “mis­sion ac­com­plished”. “It is amaz­ing, as good a feel­ing as I could imag­ine,” said Bri­tish team cap­tain Leon Smith, who has over­seen his coun­try’s re­vival from the depths of the Davis Cup third tier to cup glory in the space of five years. “Andy has shown him­self to be an ab­so­lute su­per­star. He will be the first to say it is a team thing, but what he has done is as­ton­ish­ing. I am proud of ev­ery­one.”

The match-up of the two na­tional num­ber ones came af­ter both had won their open­ing sin­gles on Fri­day and Mur­ray had teamed up with brother Jamie the fol­low­ing day to de­feat Gof­fin and Steve Dar­cis in the dou­bles.It was do or die for Gof­fin and Bel­gium against the world num­ber two who had yet to drop a sin­gle set against the 16th ranked Bel­gian in pre­vi­ous games. But it was a tense and edgy start from both play­ers in front of a rau­cous 13,000 ca­pac­ity crowd at the Flan­ders Expo cen­tre where a clay­court had been laid down in an ef­fort to blunt Mur­ray’s fire­power.

It was the world num­ber two, though, who landed the first blow, break­ing the Gof­fin serve to love in the sixth game and that proved enough for him to take the set 6-3 in 48 min­utes on his fourth set point. The sec­ond set turned out to be the key to the fi­nal. Mur­ray held serve with ease, while Gof­fin hung on grimly.

Su­perb lob

The Bel­gian some­how moved out into a 5-4 lead and with the deci­bel level ris­ing again as the crowd scented blood, Mur­ray needed to serve to stay in the set.

But he did that with some ease and then in the next game, the Scot stepped up the pres­sure once again and got the break he needed as Gof­fin net­ted a fore­hand drive.

Gof­fin had only once in his ca­reer come back to win af­ter los­ing the first two sets of a match and that was in Fri­day’s open­ing rub­ber against Kyle Ed­mund. But against a player of Mur­ray’s cal­i­bre and fit­ness it was a huge ask. Gof­fin, though, had not given up the cause and he raised home hopes with his first break of serve in the sec­ond game of the sec­ond set.

But the re­vival was short-lived as Mur­ray broke back im­me­di­ately and three games later the Scot sup­plied the ‘coup de grace’ with a break to love to lead 4-3. He only had to serve out twice to end the long wait for Bri­tain but he only needed to do that once as again he cap­tured the Gof­fin serve, fin­ish­ing the fi­nal with a su­perb lob with Gof­fin stranded at the net. Mur­ray was im­me­di­ately en­gulfed by his team­mates off the Bri­tish bench as the cel­e­bra­tions be­gan. — AFP

GHENT: (From L) Bri­tain’s Jamie Mur­ray, Bri­tain’s James Ward, Bri­tain’s cap­tain Leon Smith, Bri­tain’s Andy Mur­ray and Bri­tain’s Kyle Ed­mund pose with the tro­phy af­ter win­ning the Davis Cup ten­nis fi­nal against Bel­gium at Flan­ders Expo in Ghent yes­ter­day. Bri­tain won the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years in Ghent on Sun­day when Andy Mur­ray de­feated David Gof­fin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, in the first of the re­verse sin­gles for an un­beat­able 3-1 lead over Bel­gium. — AFP

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