Britain find debut heroes in Murray and Sherwood

Andrew Murray and David Sherwood, who had not exchanged more than a brief hello until they arrived here last week, were bonded in the annals of British Davis Cup history last night after a heroic winning debut against Israel.

Andrew Murray and David Sherwood, who had not exchanged more than a brief hello until they arrived here last week, were bonded in the annals of British Davis Cup history last night after a heroic winning debut against Israel.

By closing their minds to a home crowd who booed and whistled every time they prepared to serve and prevailing against Israel's world-class doubles team of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich, 6-4, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6, the new boys figuratively lifted Greg Rusedski into the driving seat, urging him to complete the triumph today and drive Britain into a World Group play-off.

If the 31-year-old Rusedski is able to reproduce the form he showed in beating Harel Levy on the opening day he ought to be too strong for Noam Okun, the Israeli No 1, in the first reverse singles.

The display of Murray, the US Open junior champion and the nation's youngest-ever Davis Cup player at 17 years and 294 days, was all the more remarkable considering that he had never before played more than three sets.

Sherwood, from Sheffield, the 24-year-old son of the Olympians John and Sheila Sherwood, also rose the challenge of taking Britain into the final day of the tie with a 2-1 lead. Sherwood recalled having played four-set matches twice before, but not at this level of the game.

"They've come up with the match of a lifetime today," Jeremy Bates, Britain's captain, said after disengaging himself from the team's celebratory jig on the court.

Bates admitted that he had been tempted to play Rusedski in the doubles after the disappointment of Alex Bogdanovic's defeat on Friday that left the tie poised at 1-1 after the opening singles. "But I didn't consider making a change for long," Bates emphasised. "We came here to build for the future, and we wanted Greg to play two singles. I had faith in Andy and David. You can see who wants to play. You can see the sparkle in their eyes."

Murray, from Scotland, listened to a tape of The Proclaimers' "500 Miles" while walking on court for the opening ceremony - "it's what they play when Hibs, my team, score a goal," he said - and refused to be intimidated by the crowd. "I play tennis to play in front of crowds like that," he said. "It was a bit tough at times, but it was not the crowd's fault. The referee should have warned them sooner than he did."

The warning to the crowd eventually came as Sherwood was about to make a second serve on the third match point. "To say something at that point after we'd been on court for more than three hours was a joke," said Bates.

Murray and Sherwood had kept the 5,000 spectators fairly quiet by dominating the opening set and winning the second set tie-break, 7-5, from 4-1 down.

The noise level increased, however, after Sherwood double-faulted to lose his serve at 1-1 in the third set, and became frantic after Murray was broken at 1-3. Ram and Erlich romped through the remainder of the set and broke Sherwood to lead 2-1 in the fourth set.

Suddenly, as British optimism began to wane, the drama took another twist. Erlich, serving at 5-4 to level the match, was broken by Murray's forehand lob. Sherwood was unable to hold in the next game, but took the set to a tie-break by breaking Ram with a backhand return after the Israelis had held two set points.

Having been on the receiving end for longer than was comfortable, the Britons recovered the form they had displayed in the opening set. They swept to a 5-1 lead in the second tie-break. Murray's service winner produced match points at 6-3, and Sherwood converted the third and silenced the boos and whistles when Ram returned his second serve into the net for 7-5 to bring the duel to a close after three hours and 22 minutes.

Suggested Topics
News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
I'm not worried about United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker