In July 2015, Andy Murray was the star performer in Great Britain’s tie against France and when he defeated Gilles Simon in four sets after losing the first. Murray carried Britain into the semifinal on his great overall effort. Once again on Friday September 18, 2015, the irrepressible Scot played with firm commitment in the first singles of the Davis Cup semifinals against Australia on the first day at Glasgow. He beat the talented Aussie teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis, 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 and engineered a 1-0 lead for Great Britain. However, that lead didn’t last long because Australia squared up in the next match, when their no.1 man Bernard Tomic defeated Great Britain’s world no. 300 Dan Evans, 6-3, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4. Australian think tank left out the tarnished figure of Nick Kyrgios in the Davis Cup semifinals and their team now consists of Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Lleyton Hewitt. Like Murray began in Glasgow, David Goffins led Belgium in the other semifinal at Brussels. In a sound start, Goffin took the first single match against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis.. But just as Australia took the second singles to end the day 1-1, Argentina also squared up through Leonardo Mayer, who beat Belgium’s Steve Darcis in a hard-fought four-set encounter in almost 4 hours. That made the doubles game on Saturday as crucial for all the four teams.
In Glasgow, Great Britain’s semifinal against Australia began with the first singles match between Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis. World no.3 Murray dropped just six points on serve as he beat the Australian teenager 6-3, 6-0, 6-3. But that lead didn’t last long as Bernard Tomic brought Australia on level terms by defeating a spirited Dan Evans 6-3, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 in the next match on Friday. The situation has made the Saturday’s doubles rubber an extremely crucial event. As per the original schedule, Great Britain’s Jamie Murray/Dominic Inglot were scheduled to take on Australia’s Sam Groth/Lleyton Hewitt. But British captain Leon Smith may be forced to examine the possibility of teaming up the two Murray brothers instead. In the first singles match, once Murray took the first game of the opening set at love, the tone of the match was set. Despite the 19-year old Kokkinakis offering resistance, Murray was unperturbed and his game proved too much for Kokkinakis as the match slipped away from his grasp. In the next singles match, the reverse held true. Bernard Tomic had a tough opponent in Dan Evans but Tomic played powerfully to break Evans in his opening service game and continued to dictate the proceedings. Although Evans took the third set tiebreak, he couldn’t match the Australian in the fourth.
At Brussels, David Goffin made a great beginning for Belgium by defeating Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 in the first singles match. However the 1-0 lead was squashed, when the big-serving Leonardo Mayer outlasted Steve Darcis 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. In the first match, Goffin failed to convert three match points on Delbonis’ service but ended up winning with an ace in the next game. Delbonis’ 48 unforced errors proved his undoing. In the next match, Mayer hit 24 aces to just 1 by Darcis and converted 2 of 13 breakpoints after hitting 81 winners and 77 unforced errors in 3 hours, 52 minutes. Just as in Glasgow, the doubles tie on Saturday will be crucial, when Belgium’s Rubens Bemelmans/Kimmer Coppejans take on Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq/Diego Schwartzman.
Belgium have never won the Davis Cup despite reaching the final 111 years ago and their last semi-final appearance ended with a 1-4 loss against France in 1999. Argentina is also looking for their first victory in the competition, having finished runner-up four times.
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