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Andy Murray leads Great Britain to first Davis Cup title since 1936 with 3-1 win over Belgium

Hannah Wilks in News 29 Nov 2015
  • Great Britain defeat Belgium 3-1 to win first Davis Cup title since 1936
  • Andy Murray beat David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 to seal victory for Great Britain
  • Murray 11-0 in Davis Cup matches in 2015 
Andy Murray is lifted on the shoulders of his teammates after securing a 3-1 victory for Great Britain in the Davis Cup final (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Great Britain have won the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936 as Andy Murray completed a 3-1 victory over Belgium.

Andy Murray defeated David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 at the Flanders Expo in Ghent to complete the 3-1 victory and bring the Davis Cup home to Great Britain for the first time since 1936, when Fred Perry and Bunny Austin led the team. The triumph capped the fastest rise through the Davis Cup divisions in the competition’s history, masterminded by team captain Leon Smith. 

The victory saw Murray remain unbeaten in Davis Cup singles and doubles in 2015 and become just the third man, after John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, to go 8-0 in Davis Cup singles in one year. He is only the fourth man to win 11 rubbers in a single year.

While James Ward’s singles victory against the USA in the first round back in March should not be overlooked as a pivotal moment on Great Britain’s journey this year, since then Andy and his brother Jamie have accounted for all the points won against France and Australia to reach Great Britain’s first final since 1978 and the two Murrays were the only realistic path for victory in this weekend’s final. Davis Cup debutant Kyle Edmund stretched Belgian’s no. 1, world no. 16 David Goffin, to five sets on Friday, but when he ultimately lost it was back to plan A for Leon Smith and his side and the Murrays executed that plan to perfection, Andy winning 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 against Ruben Bemelmans and combining with Jamie for a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory in the doubles against Goffin and Steve Darcis.

Great Britain needed just one more point as the top singles players from each nation faced off on Sunday and although Goffin put up much more of a fight than he did in his 1-6, 0-6 defeat to Murray at the BNP Paribas Masters Paris a few weeks ago, he could not dent Murray’s implacable determination to get the win and finish this extraordinary achievement for Great Britain.

This was Murray playing some of his best tennis in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of the Flanders Expo, relishing the clashes with the hostile crowd and withstanding an early break point on his serve before unleashing some spectacular winners to race ahead 5-2, taking the first set 6-2. 

The second set was played at an absurdly high level from both, with Goffin unleashing some of the most aggressive, accurate shot-making we have ever seen from the featherweight Belgian while Murray matched him blow for blow from the back of the court. Serving second throughout, Murray had to take care of his own serve while dealing with the frustration of being unable to break Goffin despite constantly threatening, but he finally got the breakthrough at 5-5 to give himself an opportunity to serve out the set. Trailing 0-30, Murray clawed himself back into it before Goffin threw the kitchen sink at him on a lengthy rally on set point, but couldn’t hit through the world no. 2, who produced a superb forehand winner to put Great Britain one set from the title.

Goffin once again impressed with his resilience as he saved two break points at the beginning of the third set before breaking Murray’s serve for the first time to lead 2-0. 

But it was a last-ditch effort from the Belgian and Murray simply wasn’t interested in taking the scenic route to victory today. He broke straight back before taking the decisive break to lead 4-3, holding serve rapidly to put himself and his country one game away. With Goffin serving at 3-5, Murray raced to two match points at 15-40. Goffin saved one, but on the second, Murray produced some trademark defense before sailing an inch-perfect lob over Goffin’s head and into the corner to close out the win.

Murray fell to the clay before being mobbed by teammates and captain Leon Smith, but shook off the group celebrations to shake the hand of every member of the Belgian team before rejoining the celebrations. The emotional cost of the campaign, culminating at the end of a long season, showed as Murray broke down in tears, wiping them away with a Union Jack draped around his shoulders.

Murray has been keen to stress throughout that Davis Cup is a team competition and that the title is the result of a team effort, with many – acknowledged and unacknowledged – playing their part behind the scenes. But the numbers speak for themselves. Of the 12 points it took for Great Britain to claim the 2015 Davis Cup title, Murray has been solely or partly responsible for 11. The world no. 2 now joins Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as top players who have led their nations to Davis Cup glory and, just a week after being accused of not doing enough for British tennis, can bask in the ultimate proof of his critics’ ingratitude. 

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Andy Murray leads Great Britain to first Davis Cup title since 1936 with 3-1 win over Belgium

Murray defeated David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 to close out historic victory for Great Britain in Davis Cup final

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