'Braveheart' Murray relishes GB home draw
Friday 30 September 2005
Brave hearts are what Jeremy Bates, Britain's Davis Cup captain, will need for a swift exit from the Euro-African zone when either Serbia & Montenegro or Israel visit these shores next April. They are due to meet in Tel Aviv in the first round next February. Britain are seeded, with a bye.
Glasgow is likely to be among the contenders to stage the tie, Britain's first at home after six away trips. Murray, who is guaranteed to break into the world's top 100 next Monday, is proud of his roots.
However, he has rapidly become assimilated in the world game and could not give a Billy Connolly where the match is held. "It doesn't make a difference to me where it's played," he said after last weekend's 5-0 whitewash by Switzerland in a World Group play-off in Geneva. "I'm playing for Britain and, wherever it is, it doesn't matter. We're going to get big support anywhere."
That has been assured by Murray's rise to national prominence in the wake of Tim Henman's decision to retire from Davis Cup.
The Scottish teenager, taking advantage of the seventh wild card of his rookie year, yesterday advanced to the quarter-finals of the Thailand Open in Bangkok. He plays Robby Ginepri, the American third seed, having defeated the fifth-seeded Robin Soderling, of Sweden, 7-6, 7-6, in the second round. That result means Murray will become only the fourth Briton in the past 10 years to be ranked in the top 100, after the Canadian-born Greg Rusedski, Henman and Martin Lee. Henman, the British No 1, whose highest world ranking was No 4, did not crack the top 100 until he was 20.
With double figures against his name, Murray will gain direct entry into the Australian Open next January. He received a wild card to make his Wimbledon debut in June, reaching the third round, and qualified for the US Open at the end of August, going on to win his opening match in the main draw.
In Bangkok, Murray gained his second win of the year against the Swiss George Bastl, whom he defeated in the first round at Wimbledon, and won a tight match against Soderling.
Murray, and the tall 21-year-old Swede, traded service breaks twice in the first set before Murray dominated the tie-break 7-3. Murray received treatment for a headache prior to the second set. Each player broke serve, Murray going on to win the tie-break 7-5.
"I wasn't feeling that great towards the end of the first set," Murray said. "But I took a time-out and got some medication from the doctor. I had a really sore head, I don't know why.
"I thought I played a clever match. I used my slice well and returned well. I could have served better and maybe attacked a little bit more, but it was a big match for me and I'm just happy to come through," Murray added.
He has every right to be pleased with the progress he has made since winning the US Open junior title in September last year. When he made his ATP Tour debut with a wild card for Barcelona in April this year, he was ranked 397th.
Ahead of his quarter-final against the 22-year-old Ginepri, who lost to Andre Agassi in the semi-finals at the US Open, Murray said: "He's played really well the last couple of months and he's got a lot of experience. I'm not expected to win, and I'll have to serve well to stay with him."
Davis Cup Draw
Croatia v Austria
Argentina v Sweden
Spain v Belarus
Australia v Switzerland
Germany v France
Netherlands v Russia
Romania v USA
Chile v Slovakia
Dates: 10-12 Feb, 2006: First round. 7-9 April: Quarter-finals. 22-24 Sept: Semi-finals and play-offs. 1-3 Dec: Final.
Group I first round (10-12 Feb): Portugal v Luxembourg; Israel v Serbia & Montenegro. Second round (7-9 April): Czech Republic v Morocco; Ukraine v Belgium; Great Britain v Serbia & Montenegro or Israel; Portugal or Luxembourg v Italy.
Group II first round (7-9 April): Zimbabwe v Norway; Greece v Macedonia; Finland v Ireland; Slovenia v Algeria; Egypt v Hungary; Cyprus v Bulgaria; Latvia v Poland; Georgia v South Africa.
Arsenal vs Manchester City: With Arsene Wenger missing a number of key players, who could start the Community Shield clash?
Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
Manchester United: Five things we've learned so far about Louis van Gaal, including his ability to accommodate Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney
Liverpool transfer news: Reds 'in talks' to sign Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan as summer spending threatens to exceed £100m
Manchester United transfer news: Angel Di Maria set to choose between Old Trafford and PSG in next few days
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss