Breaks favour Murray in duel to give Scotland cup triumph

Andy Murray had a good day. Hibs beat Rangers and he defeated Greg Rusedski to win the inaugural Aberdeen Cup for Scotland. Actually the young Scot equalised against Rusedski, who had beaten him on Saturday night, 7-5, 7-6, in the first leg of their weekend double-header.

But the point Murray secured last night ­ winning 4-6, 6-4 and 10-1 in a champions tie-break ­ added to the contributions by his compatriots, ensured that Scotland defeated England, 4½ points to 2½.

It could hardly be described as a triumph over the auld enemy since this is a new event and Rusedski was born in Canada. The Aberdeen Cup, played over two days with top billing going to the duels between the 18-year-old Murray, from Dunblane, and the 32-year-old Rusedski, from Montreal, is an exhibition event. Its purpose is to give Scottish tennis enthusiasts an opportunity to see Murray play live and to foster the interest his progress has created.

Murray's return to his homeland after making an admirable start to his professional tennis career was heralded by an MC whose introduction style would have fitted snugly in the ring for Ricky Hatton's world title fight in Sheffield.

"Team Scot-land! ­ An-dy Mur-ray!" boomed John McDonald, a Londoner. "Team Eng-land! ­ Greg Rus-ed-ski!"

Although Murray is the up-and-coming talent, Rusedski was the one who was fast-tracked, afforded the advantage of plying his serve-and-volley trade on a quick indoor surface. Not many Supreme carpet courts are used nowadays, partly because Goran Ivanisivic once hit 100 aces in five matches on the indoor surface in Stuttgart more than a decade ago.

"This is like the old-style courts I grew up on in the '90s," a nostalgic Rusedski said after winning his first match against Murray on Saturday night. "Maybe we'll pick it up and bring it to Glasgow for the Davis Cup next year."

Murray probably had other plans for the court, which did not help his point-constructing baseline game developed on the slow clay courts in Barcelona and particularly effective on the medium-pace concrete surfaces in the United States.

Having created only one chance to Rusedski's four in the first set, Murray lost his serve in the 12th game. In the second set, Rusedski held three break points for a 4-0 lead, but Murray saved them and went on to level the set at 3-3. Rusedski, who has a strained left calf, continued to serve with a mixture of the venomous ­ a ballgirl had to be helped from the court after being hit in the ribs with a 120mph delivery ­ and the erratic, finishing the match with 17 aces and 10 double-faults.

Although Murray won the first four points in the tie-break, helped by two of Rusedski's double-faults, the Scot lost six of the next seven points. Rusedski double-faulted on the first match point, at 6-5, but converted the second, for 8-6, with a low backhand volley.

"When Greg's first serve went in, it was difficult to get back," Murray said. "Losing 7-5, 7-6 on a fast court like this is not a bad result for me. It's been four weeks since I played my last match. I took three weeks off after Basle and I've had a bit of a back problem practising." After playing in Basle, where he won his first match against Tim Henman, the British No 1, Murray spent time at a fitness and medical centre in France. He was told that his cramping during matches is related to a weakness in the lower back.

"At least I know now what I need to get better at, and as I get stronger cramping's not going to be a problem in the future," he said.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'