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Great Britain tied at 1-1 with Belgium after Andy Murray triumph in Davis Cup Final

Abigail Johnson in News 27 Nov 2015
  • World no. 2 Andy Murray and world no. 108 Ruben Bemelmans played the second match of the GB vs Belgium Davis Cup final
  • Earlier, Britain's Kyle Edmund had fallen in five sets to Belgian no. 1 David Goffin
  • In a competitive encounter, Murray beat Bemelmans 6-3 6-2 7-5

Belgium and Great Britain are tied at 1-1 at the end of the first day of Davis Cup Final action, after Andy Murray wrapped up a 6-3 6-2 7-5 win over Ruben Bemelmans.


After Kyle Edmund's 3-6 1-6 6-2 6-1 6-0 loss to David Goffin earlier in the day, a Murray victory was fairly crucial for the visiting nation – and a straight sets win was forecast. Nevertheless, the competitiveness of the clash was not anticipated.

Ruben Bemelmans, age 27, is Belgium's no. 3 player, ranked world no. 108, and has won a mere 14 ATP matches in his career – three of them in 2015. Yet the man who came out to play Andy Murray competed with all the skill and composure of a regular ATP pro.

It didn't all start off rosy, as a clinical Murray jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But Bemelmans, roared on by a crowd still thrilled from the Goffin comeback, produced multiple stunning dropshots to break back and hold for 2-2.

The rest of the first set showed flashes of the form that Bemelmans was able to bring to the contest, but it was never enough to outdo Murray's experience and skill, which lead him to a close 6-3 set. 


Taking the momentum, the no. 1 Briton excelled his game further for a 6-2 second set – but the clash was still a battle. Murray might have stepped it up on the big points, but Bemelmans was more than capable of hitting winners off forehands, backhands, dropshots and smashes elsewhere.

The third set delivered the crowning drama of the contest. Murray was handed a point penalty for audible obscenity early on, which heightened the frustration already aroused by Bemelmans' unwillingness to fade away. And Belgium, too, were not exempt from punishment, with their captain Johan Van Herck getting a warning on account of the noisy crowd - who were not warming to the world no. 2 at all.

The dramatics heightened as Ruben Bemelmans broke for a 4-2 lead, and for a few minutes the possibility of Murray being stretched to four sets looked on the cards. But the world no. 2 channelled his emotions and proved his ability to conquer stressful moments once again. Breaking back to love for 3-4, he broke again  at 5-5, before serving out the match with a roar of triumph as a Belgian return went long: 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.

AT THE END OF DAY ONE 

Despite his gallant effort, Kyle Edmund's two sets won do nothing to enhance Great Britain's position in the tie. The score is 1-1, with three matches left to play.

As ever in Davis Cup, Saturday's doubles match could be crucial. If Great Britain were to rise victorious, only an Andy Murray win in the first reverse singles match would be needed for tournament triumph. If they were to lose, then both singles players – potentially Murray and Davis Cup hero James Ward – would need to win on Sunday.

Andy and Jamie Murray will take on Steve Darcis and Kimmer Coppejans in the doubles clash at 2pm BST.

 Davis Cup live streaming


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Great Britain tied at 1-1 with Belgium after Andy Murray triumph in Davis Cup Final

World no. 2 Andy Murray put Great Britain on the board with a straight sets win over Ruben Bemelmans in the GB vs Belgium Davis Cup Final.

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