Britain ends 28-year absence from Davis Cup quarters

Sun Feb 2, 2014 7:15pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Toby Davis

(Reuters) - Britain beat the United States to reach the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1986 on Sunday as Japan finished off an injury-hit Canada to set up a maiden appearance in the last eight.

They joined holders Czech Republic, Italy and Kazakhstan as Sunday's other qualifiers and Switzerland, Germany and France, who booked their places in the World Group last eight with a day to spare.

Britain, making their return to the World Group after a five-year absence, came into Sunday needing a solitary victory in the singles, but knowing their best chance of success rested with Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who was facing the big-serving Sam Querrey.

After claiming the first set on a tiebreak, world number six Murray was forced to dig in against his 49th-ranked opponent and lost the second, but went through the gears to stamp his authority in the third before comfortably closing out a 7-6(5) 6-7(3) 6-1 6-3 win.

The result opened an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie and completed Britain's first win over the U.S. since 1935.

Britain will now face Italy, who advanced when Fabio Fognini overcame Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 7-6(5) 4-6 6-1 6-4 to give them a winning 3-1 lead.

"He came out playing extremely aggressively, especially on my serve. I changed tactics at the beginning of the third set and I was able to dictate many of the points after that. So that change of tactics helped," Murray told the BBC.

"You have a responsibility to your team mates to play well, but I also have a lot of experience in the Davis Cup and the slams, so you know how to deal with it relatively well."   Continued...

 
Feb 2, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Andy Murray (GBR) celebrates recording match point in his match against Sam Querrey (USA) in the USA vs GBR Davis Cup tie at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports