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
Sunday 06 April 2014
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."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising
Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him' - Harry Redknapp
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce calm over lack of new contract
QPR vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? And did Mario Balotelli emerge with any credit?
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Manchester United striker to glory
- 2 Ebola outbreak: What is bushmeat – and is it to blame for the disease that has killed thousands?
- 4 Meet Thea, Norway's 12-year-old child bride
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'