ATP Tour

Murray sets up Britain v Oz showdown

2015-07-19 20:01
Home favourite Andy Murray. (Alastair Grant, AP)

Paris - Exhausted Andy Murray set up a potentially epic Davis Cup semi-final against Lleyton Hewitt's Australia on Sunday when he spearheaded Great Britain's 3-1 quarter-final win over France.

World number three Murray clinched his country's first semi-final berth for 34 years with a 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0 win over Gilles Simon, sealing the tie 3-1 after playing three days in succession at Queen's Club in London.

The 28-year-old's 23rd win from 25 Davis Cup singles matches secured a first victory over old rivals France since 1978 and took Britain back to the last four for the first time since 1981.

Murray, who won both singles matches and the doubles with brother Jamie, said: "It feels unbelievable to get through. I used up my last ounces of energy.

"It wasn't looking good in the second set. I was making too many mistakes but I didn't care how I played. I just wanted to win.

"The whole weekend has been fantastic. This team has done amazing things. We are punching above our weight."

Britain haven't won the Davis Cup since 1936 and their last final appearance came in 1978.

They will host Australia in the last four in September while Belgium and Argentina meet in the other semi-final.

Australia were also the opposition when Britain last won a semi-final in 1978.

Lleyton Hewitt, 34, and playing in his record 40th Cup tie, sealed Australia's 3-2 victory over Kazakhstan in Darwin with a gritty 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-3 win in the fifth rubber over Aleksandr Nedovyesov.

It was the first time in 76 years that 28-time champions Australia had clawed back from 0-2 down to win a Davis Cup tie.

"I love the back-against-the-wall situation and that's what we had after day one," Hewitt said amid high emotion.

"We rallied together and found a way to win.

"We didn't panic when we were 2-0 down. We're united for the one goal. It's been a lot of fun."

While it was Hewitt, Australia's most successful player in the Davis Cup, who won the final live rubber for his 42nd singles triumph in the teams competition, it was Sam Groth who kept the tie alive for his country with a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6) win over Mikhail Kukushkin.

The big-serving Groth thundered down 29 aces to just get over the line against the never-say-die Kukushkin in just under three hours on the grass-court surface.

The host nation looked on the brink of being dumped from the competition when they trailed 0-2 after Friday's singles following defeats by youngsters Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios.

Hewitt and Groth kept the Australians in the tie with a straight sets doubles win over Andrey Golubev and Nedovyesov on Saturday, setting up a tense final day.

September's other semi-final will see Belgium host Argentina after both sides sealed their last-four spots on Saturday with 3-0 wins over Canada and Serbia respectively.

Latest Davis Cup World Group quarter-final results:

Great Britain 3 France 1

At Queen's Club, London (grass - outdoor)

Friday

Gilles Simon (FRA) bt James Ward (GBR) 6-4, 6-4, 6-1

Andy Murray (GBR) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 7-5, 7-6 (12/10), 6-2

Saturday

Andy Murray/Jamie Murray (GBR) bt Jo-Wilfried Tsonga/Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Sunday

Andy Murray (GBR) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0

James Ward (GBR) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) - not played

Australia 3 Kazakhstan 2

At Marrara Sporting Complex, Darwin (grass - outdoor)

Friday

Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) bt Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Saturday

Sam Groth/Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) bt Andrey Golubev/Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Sunday

Sam Groth (AUS) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3, 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6)

Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) bt Aleksandr Nedovyesov (KAZ) 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 6-3

Argentina 3 Serbia 0

At Tecnopolis, Buenos Aires (clay - indoor)

Friday

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Filip Krajinovic (SRB) 6-4, 6-2, 6-1

Federico Delbonis (ARG) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 2-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

Saturday

Carlos Berlocq/Leonardo Mayer (ARG) bt Viktor Troicki/Nenad Zimonjic (SRB) 6-2, 6-4, 6-1

Sunday

Leonardo Mayer (ARG) v Viktor Troicki (SRB)

Federico Delbonis (ARG) v Filip Krajinovic (SRB)

Belgium 5 Canada 0

At Sportpark Krokodiel, Middelkerke (Ostend) (clay - outdoor)

Friday

Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 3-6, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3

David Goffin (BEL) bt Filip Peliwo (CAN) 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

Saturday

Ruben Bemelmans/Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) bt Daniel Nestor/Adil Shamasdin (CAN) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

Sunday

Kimmer Coppejans (BEL) bt Frank Dancevic (CAN) 2-6, 6-2, 6-3

Steve Darcis (BEL) bt Filip Peliwo (CAN) 6-4, 6-3

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