Mur­ray leads Brits to Hop­man Cup fi­nal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

PERTH: Andy Mur­ray main­tained his hot start to the year as he led Bri­tain into the fi­nal of the Hop­man Cup with a 2-1 victory over Rus­sia yes­ter­day.

The Scot put on a mas­ter­ful dis­play to crush Igor An­dreev 6-1 6-0 af­ter Mur­ray’s team­mate Laura Rob­son had been beaten 6-4 6-0 by Elena De­men­tieva.

Mur­ray then joined his 15year-old part­ner to beat the Rus­sians 6-4 6-7 10-6 in the de­cid­ing mixed dou­bles to en­sure Bri­tain fin­ished top of Group B in the mixed team event and set up a fi­nal against Spain on Satur­day.

“I have to say thanks to Laura be­cause she played great,” Mur­ray said. “In the mixed, the guy is sup­posed to try to dom­i­nate and help the girl but ev­ery time I tried that we lost the point, so I left it to her af­ter that.”

Bri­tain, Rus­sia and Kaza­khstan all be­gan the day with hopes of reach­ing the fi­nal but of all the con­vo­luted even­tu­al­i­ties, the only cer­tainty was that if Bri­tain beat Rus­sia they would be through.

For­mer ju­nior Wim­ble­don cham­pion Rob­son im­pressed against world num­ber five De­men­tieva but once the Rus­sian had taken the first set, she cruised through the sec­ond to put Rus­sia ahead.

Mur­ray had played su­perbly in his open­ing two round-robin matches, but his per­for­mance against world num­ber 35 An­dreev was even more im­pres­sive.

Mur­ray ham­mered serves, took his re­tur ns early and be­gan to try out a few shots, romp­ing through the first set and then blitz­ing An­dreev in the sec­ond.

“I was very lucky be­cause I was one of the spec­ta­tors but I didn’t have to pay for the ticket,” An­dreev joked when asked about the qual­ity of Mur­ray’s play.

The drama was saved for the de­cid­ing mixed dou­bles as Bri­tain led 6-4 4-1 be­fore Rus­sia fought back to win the sec­ond set and force a match tiebreak.

But the Brits held their nerve to se­cure a meet­ing with Spain.

In the day’s other group match, Kaza­khstan claimed a well-de­served victory over Ger­many, who fin­ished bot­tom of the stand­ings.

Yaroslava Shve­dova put Kaza­khstan ahead with a 6-4 7-6 victory over Sabine Lisicki be­fore An­drey Gol­ubev ham­mered 27th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-1. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.