Murray caps off heroic Davis Cup year with title for Great Britain

“Team, team, team…. No one more important than the other.”

That quote from the legendary 1986 film Hoosiers rings true for any team competition, and the Davis Cup is tennis’ most significant–and really its only–event that generally deflects attention from specific individuals. But there is no denying that the 2015 Davis Cup season was about one man and one many only: Andy Murray.

The world No. 2 capped off a memorable year in style by delivering Great Britain its first cup since 1936 by defeating Belgium’s David Goffin on Sunday afternoon. Murray’s 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 triumph in the fourth rubber inside the Flanders Expo in Ghent gave the visiting Brits a 3-1 victory.
The Belgians had made the obvious choice to contest this tie on red clay in hopes of taking down Murray in either singles or doubles on the Scot’s least favorite surface. Ruben Bemelmans could not mount much of a charge on Friday before Goffin and Steve Darcis put up slightly more resistance in a four-set loss to Andy and Jamie Murray one day later. Thus the task was left to Goffin, whom Belgium figured would have a better chance against Murray on the slow stuff than on grass or an indoor hard court.

The home team figured correctly–but it still was nowhere near enough. Goffin, who lost to Murray 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 at Wimbledon in 2014 and 6-1, 6-0 earlier this month in Paris, accounted himself well over the course of two hours and 54 minutes. The world No. 16 dropped the first two sets by getting broken only once and he surged ahead 2-0 in the third before Murray recovered. Goffin finished with 24 winners and 34 unforced errors, a respectable ratio against a defender of Murray’s caliber–especially on clay. But the favorite was simply too good, recording 12 aces, no double-faults, 37 winners, and 22 errors.

After Goffin saved one match point at 3-5, 15-40 in set three, Murray sealed the deal in fitting fashion. The two-time Grand Slam champion scrambled all over the court to stay alive in a bruising rally then tracked down a Goffin approach shot and answered it with a clinching backhand lob winner.

“It’s obviously an amazing feeling,” Murray assured. “I imagine it will take a few days before it really sinks in. (I) probably haven’t been as emotional as that after a match that I’ve won. I’ve been pretty upset having lost matches before. But I’d say that’s probably the most emotional I’ve been after a win.”
Murray DC interview
And to say the emotion was deserved would be an understatement.

Murray won 11 live rubbers during Great Britain’s four victorious ties this year. He accounted for two points against the United States and all three at the expense of France, Australia, and Belgium. The 2013 Wimbledon winner sat out from doubles against Team USA after the British side had already built a 2-0 lead on the first day of singles action. Murray became only the second player to win 11 live rubbers in the same season following Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic in 2005.

“It has to be one of the best achievements of all time,” captain Leon Smith said of his star player when asked where it ranks in the history of British sport. “It’s incredible for all of us to watch how he’s managed to win that many rubbers, that many wins. It was absolutely incredible. Amazing.”

45 Comments on Murray caps off heroic Davis Cup year with title for Great Britain

  1. How you view the tweet from the Djokovic camp rather depends on whether you’re a Nole fan or not. I know what my reaction was.
    ––Congrats #teamGB on DC win! @andy_murray Seeing ur reaction after winning made me relive again how it was 4 us in ’10.Well done,u deserve it––

  2. I just wanted to say congratulations to Murray and company for winning the DC! I predicted Murray in 3 sets and that’s what happened. Well done!

    For what it’s worth, I think the tweet from Nova was sincere and genuine. There’s no reason to think otherwise as far as I am concerned. Sometimes it’s good to just take something at face value.

    • If you take it at face value it’s the Djokovic camp rubbing it in the Serbs did it five years before the Brits did.

      • Not it is not. It’s a simple congratulations. This is the most I’ve seen Andy react after a win and I won’t be surprised if it really did remind Djokovic of himself. Congratulations to GBR.

      • Not a question of necessary. Looks like a spontaneous reaction to me devoid of any malice. Djokovic knows GBR is a one-man army and it was always going to take them time to win. I don’t think this is such a big issue.

      • I think ed’s interpretation is the most accurate. Djoko could have just congratulated Andy without bringing his own DC win into the conversation. Clearly wanted to be one up.

      • Lol you guys are just so bitter that he is where he is. Keep crowing; I hope for your sake that Novak stops winning so much.

      • Oh please for heaven’s sake! So what if Novak brought up his win! What’s the big deal? People take offense at anything and dissect and analyze everything so that they can find something to nitpick!

        This is much ado about nothing!

        • That is your opinion. Mine differs but, as you are always so quick to point out, we are all entitled to say what we think. Actually I didn’t spelt out what I think, I simply alluded to my reaction to the tweet.
          It is others who are determined to turn a molehill into a mountain.
          Time to bring this pointless discussion to an end.

      • It’s like Rafa sending a tweet saying “Andy, I can understand your joy winning it for the first time you can imagine how happy I was when I won DC for the 4th time.”

  3. Before the days of wi-fi and internet livestreaming I only had French TV and that was if France were playing. This was in the days when Guy Forget was captain and I keep comparing his bullying ‘coaching’ style with that of Leon Smith. Forget regularly reduced his players to a gibbering mess and on several occasions to tears.

    There are many players who respond to the call by playing at a level way above their ranking but the opposite can happen when experienced players get stage fright and perform below par – particularly in front of a home crowd. We saw this in Goffin in the opening two sets against Edmund.

    Leon Smith’s genius is the way he changed team GB from a lost cause into the winner of the DC in the space of just five years with his softly, softly coaching style.

  4. Definitely the team captain can affect the team. Look what happened to the mighty Spain when they brought in a captain that just rubbed the players up the wrong way. The Spaniards didn’t play for Moya either, Nando, Ferru and Lopez didn’t play when Moya was captain and Rafa was injured so it all fell apart for them.

    Having said that, without Murray, GB would never have won the cup and the other captains couldn’t get Murray to join the team. It’s similar to Switzerland when Roger wouldn’t commit to DC and Stan battled for years along with the other Swiss players getting nowhere. As soon as Roger came on board they won the cup. Without Djokovic, Serbia would not have won DC, nor would the Czech Rep without Berdy and without Rafa Spain would not have won it 4 times in this era.

  5. It’s tough on the younger players, in the middle of the their break through year, to be put under the pressure of playing Davis Cup and then castigated if they prioritise their careers. It happened to both Andy and Delpo in 2008.

  6. The tennis channel showed some classic DC matches from the past prior to this final. One of them was the great match with Rafa and Delpo in the 2011 DC. That was a great four set match which was quite entertaining. Rafa finally got the win in the TB, blowing Delpo out 7-0. It was great to go back and relive that one again.

    • IMO the DC produces more exciting matches than the WTF and I believe the final also usually commands higher TV ratings.

  7. During the chat between the commentators on Sunday they were talking about the onerous demands DC imposes on top players and that there is already talk that it may be restructered at some point to reduce the load.

    I have never understood why the Davis Cup is played in the Olympic years. It wouldn’t lose any of its prestige if they were to skip one year in four.

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