Andy Murray thanked the British fans that had packed into Queen’s Club to cheer him on to victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and level Great Britain’s Davis Cup quarter-final clash.
First up on day one was Jamie Ward, however, it was France who were on the scoreboard first as Gilles Simon secured a straight-sets victory.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Ward – ranked 89th in the world – to overcome 11th-ranked Simon and the Frenchman went on to win 6-4 6-4 6-1.
This handed France a 1-0 lead in this best-of-five Davis Cup quarter-final, but Great Britain would end the day level thanks to Murray.
The Scot also won in straight sets, although he was made to dig deep by Tsonga and the British number one came through 7-5 7-6 (12-10) 6-1, much to the delight of a raucous home crowd.
“Both of us served extremely well in that second-set tie-breaker,” Murray said. “I got a bit lucky as I stuck my racket out on a 137 miles an hour serve and luckily managed to return it.
“There was a great atmosphere and a lot of people were asking me ‘it is the Queen’s Club, will it create a Davis Cup atmosphere?’ and they proved them wrong today.
“It was absolutely fantastic and a pleasure to play in front of a crowd like that and we will need this support over the next couple of days if we are going to get the win.
“There is always extra pressure and extra nerves when you play for your country but I always enjoy it and I managed to play well today against a top player.”
Saturday’s action sees the doubles take place – and Murray admits a decision will need to be made to see if he plays across all three days.
“I always want to play but I’ve also had a long few months and it is about doing what is best for us for the whole tie,” he added.
“I want to play and I also need to be fresh for Sunday so we will be having a chat about it, but hopefully I can play.”
© Sportsbeat 2015