Murray levels Davis Cup final as Goffin survives scare

Fri Nov 27, 2015 4:33pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

GHENT, Belgium (Reuters) - A fired-up Andy Murray showed his class to draw Britain level with Belgium on day one of the Davis Cup final after David Goffin's escape act from a two-set deficit had given the hosts the lead in Ghent on Friday.

The 28-year-old world number two Murray, who has almost single-handedly put Britain on the brink of their first title since 1936, duly delivered another point, beating 108th-ranked Ruben Bemelmans 6-3 6-2 7-5 on the indoor claycourt.

Murray's hunger to capture the team trophy has been evident all year with inspirational displays against the U.S., France and Australia and he wore his heart on his sleeve again as he withstood a Bemelmans fightback to clinch victory.

At 2-2 in the third set and the noise levels deafening inside the 13,000-seat arena built within a charmless warehouse on the edge of medieval Ghent, Murray was even docked a point for an audible obscenity.

He then slipped 4-2 behind and fought off a Bemelmans set point at 4-5 before clinching a straight-sets victory that enabled him a little more recovery time for Saturday's doubles rubber with older brother Jamie, most likely against Steve Darcis and Kimmer Coppejans.

"I had no idea about either of the warnings because you can't hear anything on the court," Murray said of the raucous atmosphere produced by a sell-out crowd. "So I'm surprised (the umpire) could hear what I was saying."

Murray's seventh singles win in Davis Cup this year left the final evenly-poised, although Britain would already be virtually home and dry had debutant 20-year-old Kyle Edmund finished off world number 16 Goffin.

The opening singles of the tie, which was regarded as a "must-win" rubber for Belgium as they try to land their first title, was turning into a humiliation for Goffin when he trailed the world number 100 by two sets.   Continued...

Tennis - Belgium v Great Britain - Davis Cup Final - Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium - 27/11/15. Men's Singles - Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after winning his match against Belgium?s Ruben Bemelmans. Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff