September 20, 2015
Andy Murray disposed of Bernard Tomic in ruthless style to seal Great Britain’s first appearance in Davis Cup final for 37 years. Now glory beckons for the first time since 1936.
Andy said later: ‘Delighted to get through, we knew it was going to be incredibly difficult, they have such depth. everyone played their part and I was glad to finish it off today.
‘It’s been a very tough weekend for me physically and mentally as well. It was very draining yesterday and I’m very glad to be in the final.
‘It would be an incredible achievement to win the Davis Cup but there’s a long way to go. It would be great to be able to play the final in the UK. We’ll go and have a good time in the locker room now.’
This has been a superb lesson in how to handle pressure and deliver. In the past Murray’s psychological strength has been questioned, and sometimes with good reason. But when his country has depended on him for success in the tennis world’s greatest team event, Andy has accepted the huge weight of expectation and even learnt to thrive.
The 3-1 lead secured by Murray’s emphatic 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 victory rendered the final rubber meaningless on Sunday. Scotland and all Britain could start celebrating a remarkable achievement.
The Davis Cup final will take place between November 27 and November 29, after the year-end finals. We’ll just have to hope Andy Murray gets his priorities right and manages his personal programme carefully, because Davis Cup success has always meant so much to him. In short, he will want to be fresh for the final.
Murray broke in the fourth game of the match to go 3-1 ahead – and he served for the first set at 5-3. All credit to Tomic, who fought back to 5-5. With Andy starting to look low on energy, you wondered whether an upset might be on the cards after all. But Murray raised his game once more to take complete control before the lottery of a tie-break. Tomic never really recovered from that set-back.
The second set followed a similar pattern, as Murray asked questions in the fourth game and Tomic was unable to give satisfactory answers. The Australian’s two unforced errors gave the Scot the breakthrough and his thousands of supporters went wild. This time Murray was in no mood to let his lead slip and closed out the set comfortably.
The confidence seemed to seep out of Tomic as the match grew older. The big man couldn’t produce the same sort of fight that Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth had summoned so impressively during an epic doubles clash the previous day.
It began to feel as though the finishing line was in sight for the battling Brit. With the help of his brother and others, Andy has led this extraordinary march to the Davis Cup final without faltering. It has been a supreme display of self-assurance and hunger.
He has handled the pressure admirably. Sometimes he must have felt like Serena at the US Open, where everyone thought her Calendar Slam was a formality. But nothing is that simple, as Williams learnt to her cost, and even with the weight of a nation on his shoulders, Andy Murray has refused to buckle.
His reward, with either Belgium or Argentina waiting, should, according to the form books, be Davis Cup glory. How sweet victory in the final itself would be. A Davis Cup to go with his Olympic Gold, US Open and Wimbledon triumphs. Yes, Andy should have won the Australian Open by now. But he beat a few Australians this week. And, good sports as they are, none of those Australians could complain that they had been beaten unfairly.
It may be farewell to Lleyton Hewitt. But he did himself proud during a magnificent occasion. Having said that, there was only one star of the show in the cauldron of Glasgow – the British number one.