Davis Cup: Andy Murray makes perfect start as Great Britain take early lead against Australia

The Scot thrilled his home crowd in Glasgow

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The Independent Online

Great Britain surged into a Davis Cup semi-final lead after Andy Murray produced a performance that Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis just could not live with.

Murray raced to a 6-3 6-0 6-3 victory in the opening rubber to get Britain's first semi-final in 34 years off to the perfect start.

The Scot thrilled his home crowd in Glasgow with some punishing tennis to which his 19-year-old opponent was unable to find any answer.

Kokkinakis often trains with Murray on tour but the world number three showed no mercy as he dropped just two service points in the first set, one of them a double fault.

Kokkinakis, ranked 72 in the world, initially put up a decent fight on his own serve, rescuing several break points, but a wonderful return from Murray saw him break in the sixth game and he finished the set off with an ace.

Murray was looking fresh after his US Open fourth-round exit allowed him several days off, and he stepped up another gear in the second set, allowing his opponent just five points in a 25-minute demolition.

The 28-year-old broke early in the third set and finished it off with a brilliant back-handed cross-court return to ensure an early start for team-mate Dan Evans, who takes on Bernard Tomic in the second rubber.

Afterwards, Murray said he felt inspired to produce a peak performance in a sold-out Emirates Arena.

"It's fantastic," he said on court. "A huge match to start off the tie and I'm glad I managed to put on a performance. The crowd was fantastic from the first point to the last, we need the same again for Dan in the next match. He needs all the support.

"I didn't give (Kokkinakis) many opportunities on my serve, (I) was very aggressive.

"Representing your country is a proud moment, I love it, and I always perform my best when I'm here for my country. Hopefully I can do the same for the rest of the weekend."

PA

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