When Andy Murray defeated Bernard Tomic in the first reverse single rubber at Glasgow on Sunday and took Great Britain into the Davis Cup final, he rekindled the tennis lovers’ memories of 2010 and 2014 season’s finals. In 2010 Serbia defeated France in the final on the strength of Novak Djokovic’s terrific performance and in 2014; it was Roger Federer, who anchored Switzerland to a 3-1 victory also against France. Djokovic and Federer played with solid commitments to ensure maiden Davis Cup victories for their countries. Though Britain has won many Davis Cup ties in the past, 2015 is different. Andy Murray is trying to emulate Djokovic and Federer in attempting to demonstrate as to how a single individual can make all the difference in tournaments, fashioned on the lines of the Davis Cup. The Briton, who had to endure a draining 4-hour battle with brother Jamie on Saturday in defeating Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt/Sam Groth, came out refreshed on Sunday and defeated Australia’s no.1 player Bernard Tomic to take GBR into the Davis Cup final after 37 years.
Australian captain Wally Masur banked on Andy Murray’s physical and mental fatigue after the Scot had two days of grueling tennis on Friday and Saturday. However, it looked unlikely that Murray would miss a historical chance to slip by. He had won both his previous matches against Tomic and he did it for the third time against the 22-year old Australian in a commanding 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 victory. The raucous atmosphere at the Emirates Arena helped Murray but that was not the only reason for his triumph. The skilled Scot outplayed Tomic for most part in taking GBR into the Davis Cup final with an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie. The Briton came out with guns blazing in the second and third sets. In the first, however, Murray betrayed signs of nerves, when he failed to serve out the first set. But he made good that failure in the 12th game by breaking Tomic’s serve with an audacious drop shot to a huge delight of the 8000-strong Glasgow fans, who never stopped rooting for their beloved country mate. Once the first set tension was released, Murray began the second set dominantly. It seemed as if he was repeating Friday’s demolition of Thanasi Kokkinakis and took a 3-1 lead straightaway and went on to bag the set. In the third set, Tomic dropped his serve early and Murray capitalized on to it, broke the Australian yet again and finished a routine day in office. In the Davis Cup final scheduled for November, Great Britain will against Belgium, who came through after Steve Darcis defeated Argentina’s Federico Delbonis in the deciding fifth rubber at Brussels.
Before the reverse singles began between Belgium and Argentina, the hosts were down 1-2 and needed to win both the rubbers. In the first, David Goffin leveled tie-scores to 2-2, when he outplayed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in a game that saw 38 winners and six break of serves from the Belgian. Then everything hinged on the last singles rubber between Steve Darcis and Federico Delbonis. Darcis, who had lost in his opening singles rubber against Leonardo Mayer, played inspired tennis to send Belgium into their first Davis Cup final after 111 years. Darcis won the first set but lost the second. The real fight ensued in the third and fourth sets with both Darcis and Delbonis fighting for every point. After the Belgian took the third set 7-5, he led 5-3 in the fourth. However, Darcis displayed loss of nerves at the crucial time and allowed Delbonis to level at 5-5, when he had a match point. As the match went into the tiebreak, Darcis found his rhythm and jumped to a 5-1 lead. He now held four match points against the Argentinian. Delbonis saved the first but Darcis sealed the rubber with a smash on the next match point. Then he dropped himself on the court with his teammates rushing to him and Brussels began to celebrate.
Belgium reached its first final since 1904 and they will play Britain during November 27-29, 2015 in Brussels. It will be a repeat of their match played at Wimbledon, where they lost to Britain 0-5. As for Britain, their last victory in Davis Cup came 79 years ago, when a team led by the legendary Fred Perry defeated Australia 3-2 at Wimbledon on July 28, 1936.
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