“We’ve just won the tennis equivalent of the World Cup, lets enjoy it!” bellowed an ecstatic Andrew Castle a week ago, as Team GB lifted the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936, after an Andy Murray masterclass ended a 79 year wait to claim the trophy once again. He did it by defeating Belgian David Goffin in the fourth rubber of the tie, in straight sets 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
“I just can’t believe we did it, I never thought I did. It’s amazing.” said an understandably emotional Murray, who ended the 2015 season on a high. “All of the players on our team have played unbelievable tennis. That’s a credit to Leon [Smith] and all of his team.” Murray continued.
The man from Dunblane was in the driver’s seat from the start, playing in front of a hostile Belgian crowd. He never seemed phased by the whistles and boos, making light work of a tricky opponent in Goffin, something Murray himself acknowledged – “David is a great player. He is unbelievably talented. He made it a very tough match.”.
The world No.2 and his brother Jamie put Britain 2-1 up in the tie leading into the final, after grinding out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win on the afternoon of Saturday the 28th in the doubles rubber. It was a welcomed turnaround after Britain found themselves 1-0 down on Friday afternoon following young Kyle Edmond’s loss in the first rubber.
As well as ending the 77 year wait for a British singles champion at Wimbledon after Fred Perry, and playing a critical part in Team GB’s record breaking victory a week ago, Murray has set yet another record triumph. He has become the first player to win three live rubbers in a final since the USA’s Pete Sampras 20 years ago. As if this wasn’t impressive enough, the Scotsman is only the third player since John McEnroe in 1982 and Mats Wilander the following year to win eight Davis Cup singles in a calendar year. He is also only the fourth player to win 11 rubbers, having taken three doubles points with Jamie, since the world group began in 1981.
After a gruesome two hours, Murray had a two set lead. There has only been one time in his career that Murray has lost a match from two sets up, against David Nalbandian, long ago. He was not about to do so again- he was focused, determined, strictly professional, common features that are typically associated with Murray’s game.
As he lobbed a winner on match point, he sank to the clay. He rolled around overcome with emotion and was soon joined by the rest of the team. This memorable conquest capped off an unforgettable weekend for British sport; Lewis Hamilton ended the Formula 1 season as world champion, and Tyson Fury shocked to boxing world to claim the world heavyweight title from an undefeated-in-11 years, Wladimir Klitschko.