Rediff.com  » Sports » Britain counting on Murrays to bring home elusive Davis Cup

Britain counting on Murrays to bring home elusive Davis Cup

November 24, 2015 23:16 IST

Britain's Andy Murray addresses a news conference ahead of the Davis Cup final against Belgium

IMAGE: Britain's Andy Murray addresses a news conference ahead of the Davis Cup final against Belgium. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Britain will attempt to win the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years this weekend when they take on Belgium in Ghent, although if they do succeed the Scottish town of Dunblane could argue its name should be enscribed on the trophy.

World number two Andy Murray and his brother Jamie, who grew up in Dunblane, have propelled Britain through the draw, with Andy churning out vital singles wins and teaming up with his elder sibling in the doubles.

That is likely to be the scenario again at the Flanders Expo, beginning on Friday, where despite 13,000 home fans trying to cheer Belgium to their first ever Davis Cup, Britain will start favourites.

Twice grand slam champion Andy Murray is the class act of the final -- a repeat of the 1904 match when the British Isles won 5-0 with brothers Laurence and Reggie Doherty starring.

Murray's commitment to the cause this year has been immense.

Britain's Dominic Inglot, Kyle Edmund, captain Leon Smith, Andy Murray, James Ward and Jamie Murray hold a joint news conference

IMAGE: Britain's Dominic Inglot, Kyle Edmund, captain Leon Smith, Andy Murray, James Ward and Jamie Murray hold a joint news conference ahead of the Davis Cup final. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

The 2013 Wimbledon champion is undefeated, winning two singles against the United States in Glasgow in March.

Against France in the quarter-finals at Queen's Club, the Murrays joined forces to win the doubles with Andy winning both his singles in a 3-1 victory -- the second against Gilles Simon when he was down on both knees with fatigue.

Then came the semi-final against Australia, again in Glasgow, when the 28-year-old crushed Bernard Tomic, having won a gripping doubles five-setter with Jamie the previous day, to send Britain into the final for the first time since 1978.

He flew into Belgium on Monday -- a country on high alert after the Paris attacks -- having lost two of his three matches at the ATP World Tour Finals last week.

Belgium's David Goffin returns volley during a training session ahead of the Davis Cup final against Britain

IMAGE: Belgium's David Goffin returns volley during a training session ahead of the Davis Cup final against Britain. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

How he adapts to the quick switch to indoor clay will be crucial for Britain captain Leon Smith.

"The reality is that if Andy gets injured or ill, then it would be a very difficult match to win," Mark Cox, who played for Britain in the 1978 final, told Reuters.

"Leon has done well to bond the team and get some performances from James Ward, well beyond what realistically would be expected.

"But the whole run to the final has relied on Andy's performances and it has been great to see Jamie rising to the challenge and becoming a force in doubles."

Roger Federer, who won the trophy for the first time last year for Switzerland, believes Murray will decide the tie.

"Britain are the favourites, in my opinion, because they have Andy in the team," he said.

Source: source
© Copyright 2019 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT