AFTER a 79 year drought, British tennis has finally prevailed with a Davis Cup triumph beating Belgium’s finest over a three day stretch culminating in final victory on November 29.
Over 1,000 travelling British fans saw the team, led by world No 2 Andy Murray recover the greatness of Fred Perry and Bunny Austin against Australia in 1936. This feat was no less extraordinary as the formidable American, French, and Australian teams were swept aside on the way to a final encounter with the hosts in a modest Belgian suburb.
Murray secured the victory by defeating Belgium’s David Goffin, ranked 16th, in straight sets, giving the British a 3-1 lead in the five-match tie. This was his third victory of the final, one of which was a successful doubles win, where his partner was his brother Jamie.
“I never felt we would have the opportunity to do this. I can’t believe we did it. Everybody has played an unbelievably high level.” Murray said courtside after the victory, referencing the underdog nature of this team.
Only Kyle Edmund is also ranked among the world’s top 100 singles players, at No 100, the others’ being well outside the corridors of success and fame. The format of the Davis Cup, however, allows strong players to take centre court, and of the 17 matches on the way to glory, Murray played 11 and won them all.
Team captain Leon Smith said “It’s as good a feeling as I could possibly imagine,” “Andy just showed himself to be a superstar again. He will say it’s a team effort, but I’m so, so proud of him, of what he’s done this year. There are also a lot of people who don’t get a lot of credit. They work their socks off. Every player has played a part.”
The weekend was one of unexpected triumphs as Britain’s Tyson Fury defeated world heavyweight champion in a unanimous decision in Düsseldorf on Saturday night