The Herald - Herald Sport - - DAVIS CUP -

It cer­tainly seemed that way when, af­ter Pella mishit a fore­hand on the open­ing point of his sec­ond ser­vice game, Mur­ray’s alert­ness level ap­peared to rise that vi­tal frac­tion and he was to break to 30.

That let him re­lax slightly and, when the op­por­tu­nity arose, take ad­van­tage of hav­ing the up­per hand in points by run­ning Pella around and seek­ing to re­duce the ad­van­tage he had be­gun with in terms of rel­a­tive fresh­ness.

Two breaks of serve in the sec­ond set put Mur­ray in com­plete con­trol, but as he pulled back his foot to stretch af­ter hold­ing serve to level things at the be­gin­ning of the third set a new sense of ur­gency en­tered pro­ceed­ings.

Mur­ray had still seemed in rea­son­able fet­tle when, as Pella and his cap­tain Daniel Or­sanic trudged off to the toi­lets at the end of the sec­ond set, the Scot jogged past them and re­turned much more briskly too, but three games later it be­came ev­i­dent that all was not well.

That he came back from the med­i­cal time-out, broke serve at the first op­por­tu­nity, then served his way to vic­tory spoke to his com­mit­ment, while he paid trib­ute to the con­tri­bu­tion of the home sup­port, say­ing: “I never worry that, when I get out there, I’m go­ing to feel flat. You just can’t feel that way when you have that in­tense an at­mos­phere.”

Con­se­quently, pulling out of the match was never a con­sid­er­a­tion.

“I was still mov­ing okay, it was just the pain and when you get pain in your body that dis­tracts you, you start wor­ry­ing about that rather than hit­ting the ball, the tac­tics and what you are try­ing to do in the match.

“I wasn’t think­ing about with­draw­ing, I was more con­cerned about how my leg was.”

An op­por­tu­nity for some much­needed rest now presents it­self and the hope must be that no more than that will be re­quired af­ter his bru­tal sum­mer sched­ule, but Mur­ray ad­mit­ted that this is un­known ter­ri­tory for him, adding: “I have never had any mus­cle in­juries be­fore. The two matches that I had to with­draw from, one was a wrist and one was my back, and that was the joint, so I have never had a sharp pain in my mus­cle be­fore so that was wor­ry­ing for me.”

Pic­tures: SNS/PA

beat Guido Pella in yes­ter­day’s open­ing rub­ber.

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