ATP Tour

Amazing Andy shows Anderson how it's done

2015-07-24 10:45
Andy Murray (Gallo Images),.

Cape Town - Going back four years to 2011 and South Africa were in the play-offs for a place in the prestigious World Group of the Davis Cup, while Great Britain were wallowing in the lowly Euro-Africa Group Two segment of the competition.

How matters have changed in almost chameleon-like fashion for the respective countries since in what the ITF refer to as "The World Cup" of tennis.

While a determined, dedicated South African team avoided the humiliation of relegation to the Euro-Africa Group Three segment of the Davis Cup with a resounding 5-0 victory over modest Ireland at the Irene Country Club over the weekend, it was the stunning feat of a cascading British side that dominated worldwide attention.

The underdog British team accounted for firm favourites France by a 3-1 margin and qualified for the Davis Cup World Group semi-finals against Australia for the first time in 33 years - almost on the back of a single player, namely the indomitable Andy Murray.

Not only did the irresistible Murray secure vital victories in his two singles games against formidable opponents in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon, but he was also drafted into a gruelling doubles to gain a crucial win with brother Jamie Murray over Tsonga and Nicolas Mahut.

All this, mind you, a mere week after the world's number three had reached the semi-finals of the Wimbledon Grand Slam extravaganza.

But, more than this, it was Murray's unwavering participation in the Davis Cup that almost single-handed has been the architect of Britain gaining promotion from the Davis Cup's Euro-Africa Group Two, to Euro-Africa Group One and then into the World Group via the promotion playoffs.

Little wonder that the laconic, but emotionally-drained Murray shed tears on the court at the Queen's Club after Britain's triumph over France and described it as "a unique experience" - ranking with his previous successes at Wimbledon, the United States Open and the Olympic Games.

And what of South Africa's fortunes in the Davis Cup these past four years?  With the country's top player and world 15th-ranked Kevin Anderson continually making himself unavailable since 2011, it's been a disconcerting downward slide to within a whisker of Euro-Africa Group Three.

Could Anderson have emulated Murray's Davis Cup feats had he made himself available these past four years? Maybe not. But he could have tried and undoubtedly made a big difference.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  davis cup  |  andy murray  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis

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