Murray guides Britain to Cup glory

GHENT (Belgium) • After leading Britain to their first Davis Cup triumph for 79 years, tennis world No. 2 Andy Murray has set his sights on a breakthrough at the Australian Open.

Murray beat Belgium's David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in Ghent yesterday, adding another momentous achievement to his CV.

The two-time Major champion and Olympic gold medallist was unbeaten in 11 rubbers during Britain's run.

He put Britain 3-1 ahead in the final with his third point of the weekend, having defeated Goffin and Steve Darcis in the doubles with brother Jamie yesterday and Ruben Bemelmans on the opening-day singles tie.

"We have to enjoy this because we may never get the opportunity again," he said.

"The Australian Open is next. I have lost in the final four times. I need to learn a few things about how I have handled this weekend. I will try to do that in Australia.

"I will enjoy this one."

The win over Goffin made him just the third player, after John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, to win all eight singles in the same calendar year since the Davis Cup World Group started in 1981.

Britain defeated heavyweights United States, France and Australia before the final against Belgium at the Flanders Expo, where a clay court had been laid down in an effort to blunt Murray's firepower.

They have now won the 115-year-old event 10 times, but it is their first title since 1936.

Said captain Leon Smith: "It is amazing, as good a feeling as I could imagine. Andy has shown himself to be an absolute superstar. He will be the first to say it is a team thing, but what he has done is astonishing."

The second set turned out to be the key to the final.

Murray held serve with ease, while Goffin hung on grimly.

The Belgian somehow moved out to a 5-4 lead and with the decibel level rising as the crowd scented blood, Murray needed to serve to stay in the set.

But he did that with some ease and then in the next game, the Scot stepped up the pressure once again and got the break he needed as Goffin netted a forehand drive.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2015, with the headline 'Murray guides Britain to Cup glory'. Print Edition | Subscribe