Great Britain will face Australia in their first Davis Cup semi-final since 1981 after Andy Murray battled back to defeat France’s Gilles Simon, sealing victory for his team with a rubber to spare.
Resuming with a 2-1 lead in the tie overnight, after the two-time grand slam winner teamed up with brother Jamie to win their doubles contest at Queen’s Club, Murray started slowly against the Wimbledon quarter-finalist.
But after losing the first set he recovered to win the second in a tie-break before sealing a 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-0 victory to ensure compatriot James Ward got the afternoon off.
“It feels unbelievable to get through that,” said Murray. “It wasn’t looking great in the second set. I managed to find a way, I used up every last ounce of energy.
“I just tried to change my tactics. I was making so many mistakes and Gilles was playing so solid, so I chased every ball down. I didn’t care how I played, I just wanted to win the match.
“The whole weekend has been fantastic. This team has done amazing things. We’re punching above our weight here and we are now in the semi-finals of the biggest team competition in tennis. Everyone has played their part.”
Simon, despite seeming to feel the effects of a knee injury, took the first set 6-4 and swiftly moved a break up in the second.
But Murray battled back to force the set to a tie-break. Again he was on the back foot, trailing 4-1, yet he won six of the next seven points to level the match.
The Scot showed great grit to move ahead with victory in the third set, before showing his class to finish off the Frenchmen in double quick time.
“A huge round of applause to Andy Murray, what an effort,” said GB team captain Leon Smith.
“What Andy put his body and mind through in that match, that second set was brutal. It was an amazing effort, incredible.
“The team did an amazing job, each and every one of them worked their socks off all week, from the players to the staff.
“It was a long journey from that tie at Eastbourne against Turkey when we first started. We just slowly built progress and momentum.”
© Sportsbeat 2015