The Euro/Africa Zone Group Two second round is a relative backwater of the Davis Cup and there are far greater stages for world no.4 Andy Murray to get emotional but tears of joy flowed from the Scot after showing three full houses of his Caledonian compatriots what a tennis force he can be.
Clearly touched by the support shown at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena, Murray was overcome at the completion of his 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Gilles Müller, the world No 81, which set up a home tie against Hungary in September in which victory for Great Britain would secure promotion back to the Group One of the Euro/Africa Zone for 2012, potentially alongside nations such as the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia.
All Murray was asked for was a word on the extent of the local support and he momentarily lost his composure. There was not a hint that that would happen on the court, as he lost only four points on his serve in three sets of genuine tension. There was no doubt that, throughout the tie, Murray donned the mask of serious intent, so much so that when he was allowed to take it off, he could not contain all of his emotions.
“I was not expecting that to happen but it did, “ said Murray. “I thought it was a really good match with a good atmosphere. Davis Cup is just different to all the other tournaments you play during the course of the year and I think that showed today.
“There was a desire on my behalf to do my best and really play well. It would have been very easy after Wimbledon to come here and have a bit of a let down. It’s happened to me in the past and I didn’t want it to happen again. I trained well in the build up, felt good moving on the hard and today was a great end to a long spell.”
Murray will now take things easy for a week or so and then begin an intensive training schedule in Miami to make sure he is in top condition for the defense of his Rogers Cup title in Montreal (beginning August 8) before the second Masters 1000 event of the summer in Cincinnati and then the US Open.
“It was the last match I will play for four or five weeks until I begin Montreal,” he said. “So it was nice to finish on that note and it makes a big difference for me to play in Scotland. I don’t the chance very often and it’s the first time in a long time I have played up here. I was beginning to think I was jinxed with ties up here in Glasgow.
“Five years ago when we played Serbia and Montenegro here at Braehead, I was really ill and could only play the doubles. Then a few years later we played Ukraine here and I came back from Dubai so sick that I lost loads of weight and couldn’t play at all. I’m just glad everything was OK this time.”
Once again Murray provided an exemplary performance from the service line against Muller, allowing his opponent only four points from his own delivery throughout the one hours 46 minute win. The British no.1 was determined that nothing less than a five-star performance to round off his first Davis Cup tie in 22 months would do and he said: “ I played well, I served well and was moving well.
“I chased every ball down and made it really difficult for him from the start. By the middle of the second set, he didn’t have any tactics left and played quite a
lot of drop shots. I knew I just had to stay tough from there, make him play a
lot of balls and return well. I served quite a lot of aces and high percentage
of first serves. All in all it was a good win.”
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