Davis Cup: Andy Murray loses in straight sets to let slip Great Britain's advantage and send Italy tie into quarter-final decider

Murray had given Great Britain a 2-1 lead on Saturday but Fabio Fognin's 6-3 6-3 6-4 win on Sunday put the pressure on James Ward to beat Andreas Seppi

Fabio Fognini beat Andy Murray in straight sets to send Great Britain's Davis Cup quarter-final against Italy into a deciding rubber in Naples.

Britain took a 2-1 lead into the final day after Murray completed his singles win over Andreas Seppi on Saturday and then teamed up with Colin Fleming to beat Fognini and Simone Bolelli in a tense doubles clash.

That left Murray knowing a 20th consecutive singles win in Davis Cup would send Leon Smith's team through to a first semi-final since 1981.

But Fognini is one of the best players in the world on clay and his extra nous on the surface came to the fore as he triumphed 6-3 6-3 6-4.

The tie therefore came down to a clash between world number 34 Seppi and Britain's James Ward, ranked 161st and bidding for the biggest win of his life.

Fognini's volatile side had been to the fore over the first two days and he was in full gesticulating mode at the start on Sunday as Murray broke serve in the first game and moved into a 3-1 lead.

But Fognini began to show the huge talent he possesses and he reeled off five straight games to take the first set.

Murray was having to withstand a great deal of pressure, which he managed until 3-3 in the second set.

He had two chances to break Fognini in the sixth game but the world number 13 held on and then broke Murray twice in succession, the Scot ending the set with a double fault.

Murray looked weary, not surprising given the amount of tennis he played on Saturday, while he had been laid low before the tie because of a stomach virus.

The third set was tight as well, but Fognini always seemed to have the upper hand and he struck with Murray serving to stay in the match.

The Wimbledon champion saved two match points, but found the net on the third to send the raucous Naples crowd into raptures.

It was Murray's first singles defeat in Davis Cup since losing to Stanislas Wawrinka in 2005.

Fognini told the BBC: "I just played better than Andy. We know this sport is really difficult and Andy played a lot yesterday. It was an important point for me especially and for Italy. I did my best and I played unbelievably."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
News
Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders were pictured embracing in 2012
people
News
President Obama, one of the more enthusiastic users of the fist bump
scienceBumping fists rather than shaking hands could reduce the spread of infectious diseases, it is claimed
Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth Games
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + ents
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Extras
indybestSpice up your knife with our selection of delicious toppings
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
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.

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried