What Lleyton Hewitt did for Australia at Darwin, Andy Murray has done for Great Britain in London. In the first reverse singles rubber on Sunday, Murray had a tough opponent in Gilles Simon and he trailed early on, but in the end, he composed himself and defeated the Frenchman in four sets to give Britain an unbeatable 3-1 lead. Murray’s heroics with his brother Jamie on Saturday and his victory over Gilles Simon on Sunday paved the way for Great Britain’s entry to the Davis Cup semi-finals after 34 years. But Murray’s victory over Gilles Simon didn’t come on a platter. The Briton looked completely exhausted after losing the first set 4-6 and down a break in the second. As he roused himself to endure further, a 35-shot rally followed. As the crowds held their breaths, the long duel went in favor of the Frenchman. Murray sank to his knees and looked like giving it all up as Simon controlled the rubber. It became obvious that three consecutive day’s hard work was taking its toll on the world no.3. However, Murray found a way to force a tiebreak that he won and then went on to clinch the next two sets to the great delight of Queens Club spectators. For a place in the final of the prestigious tournament, Britain will host Australia for playing the semifinal during September 18-20, 2015.
Andy Murray’s first reverse singles rubber on Sunday was crucial for Britain’s march into the semifinals. But the world no.3 had an ominous beginning as he lost his serve in the third game of the opening set. Though Murray had a break point in the tenth game, he couldn’t convert as Simon took the set 6-4. In the second set, a tired looking Murray lost his serve in the first game itself as Simon looked on course. The effects of playing every day since Friday were telling on Murray as he lost a long rally to Simon. However, the Briton collected himself and broke Simon in the eighth game to draw level at 4-4. Both players held their serves and the tiebreak ensued. The Frenchman raced to 4-1 in the tiebreak but Murray produced a clinical backhand to reduce the deficit and finally brought the tiebreak score to 4-4 with a drop shot. Simon brought it back to 5-4 before Murray leveled up again. At 5-5, Murray reeled off the requisite two points by first sending a deep return and then producing an un-returnable service.
Murray had come back in the match after he won the second set tiebreak. It showed in the third and fourth sets. He began the third set by breaking Simon straightaway. He broke the Frenchman’s service again in the third game but Simon broke right back in the fourth. For a while, they went on serves before Murray broke for the third time to take the set 6-3. Murray was all over in the fourth as Simon lost the fight in him. The Briton sailed through with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Once the rubber was clinched, Murray grabbed a British flag and began dancing on the court. He was cheered by everyone in Queens Club. Great Britain had entered the Davis Cup semifinals after 34 years and they will play Australia next. Incidentally, Britain had lost 0-5 in the 1981 semifinal against Argentina.
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