Andy Murray victory sends Great Britain through to Davis Cup World Group


Great Britain clinched a return to the elite Davis Cup World Group as Andy Murray steered the team to an unassailable 3-1 lead over Croatia.

Murray made a mockery of any injury concerns on the clay of the Stadion Stella Maris in Umag against his overmatched opponent, coming through 6-4 6-2 6-4 against Ivan Dodig to complete a memorable week for Britain.

The world number three's victory ensured the team, captained by Leon Smith, are back in the elite World Group for the first time since 2008.

Murray said on Eurosport afterwards: "I was nervous. I wanted to try and finish the tie, it was a big match for us, we wanted to try and get back into the World Group, the guys have had some big wins this year and I didn't want to let the team down.

"I've dealt with enough pressure around Wimbledon time and those sorts of matches to know how to get through it and how to conquer the nerves and fears that you have before you go out on the court.

"I'm glad I managed to finish it off because he fought extremely hard and nearly got back into it at the end."

The prospect of facing the world's best tennis nations appeals to Murray, who added: "I'm looking forward to it, it'll be interesting. We get to play against some of the biggest countries in the world against top teams and top players.

"It's exciting for all of the guys and hopefully I'll be a part of it next year."

Britain held the advantage coming into Sunday's reverse singles after Murray and Colin Fleming won in the doubles 24 hours earlier against Dodig and Mate Pavic.

There were worries over Murray's back injury, which had left him a doubt for Saturday's doubles match.

The Scot, however, was largely in imperious form throughout, starting when he broke Dodig in the very first game after the Croatian limply dumped a backhand into the net.

The world number 35 got into the groove to level the scores at 2-2, but Murray immediately broke again, thanks in part to two Dodig double faults and duly closed out the opening set in 47 minutes.

A fantastic backhand volley saw Murray break in the third game of the second set and the 26-year-old saved two break points to establish a 4-2 lead.

Errors were creeping into Dodig's game and Murray secured a double break before opening up three set points, taking the second after his opponent hit a looping return out.

Dodig was immediately broken at the start of the third set after netting a backhand to put Murray firmly in the ascendancy and the Wimbledon champion clinically sealed victory, despite a minor controversy while serving for the match.

At 30-all, a crosscourt forehand from Dodig looked to have caught the line but Murray called for an over-rule after pointing to the mark in the clay and the verdict was given in his favour, to the chagrin of the Croatian and the partisan crowd.

Murray took his first match point to cat calls in Umag and admitted afterwards that it was character-building.

He added: "It's different. The atmosphere was pretty hostile at the end. You don't get that in grand slam matches, the crowd are fairly fair but that's something special about Davis Cup.

"It's a character builder, you don't have to deal with that for the rest of the year and also you're playing for the team and your country so it's tough."

Team captain Smith was ecstatic about the performance of Murray.

"It's amazing, I think Andy put in an incredible performance, my voice is gone from shouting. The crowd were absolutely brilliant," Smith said.

"Actually I quite liked the way it ended with that point. I think that'll set us up as a good experience for next year which might bring us some of those atmosphere in crowds.

"I think from start to finish, Andy was exceptional."

Murray's win ensured Dan Evans' match against 16-year-old Borna Coric became a dead rubber.


Suggested Topics
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform