Andy and Jamie Murray have given Great Britain cause to hope, but now everything rests on today’s singles matches.
The hosts have to win both and while the Wimbledon and Olympic champion admitted it will be tough after such a punishing schedule, he is hopeful that they can push their rivals all the way.
“I’ll give it my best effort,” said Andy. “Whether I win or not, I don’t know. But I can guarantee I’ll give my best effort to win. Hopefully I can. It will make it interesting if it goes to a fifth rubber. But I’m not going to be the fresher of the players going into the match. I’ll be tired and I have to accept that and deal with it and try to play the match on my terms if possible.”
Yesterday he had his big brother to help him through. The recent US Open doubles victor was in sizzling form as he grabbed the contest by the scruff of the neck and the emotion was raw as the siblings hugged and addressed the hugely partisan crowd whose energy had charged their batteries throughout another close encounter..
“It was brilliant, from the first point to the last the crowd was something else,” said Jamie. “It’s a huge privilege to be able to play with Andy in Scotland, and have that amount of sport behind us. We played a great match, we had to, we knew that they weren’t going to shy away from the occasion, the atmosphere, and I think we should be really proud of the way we played and competed from start to finish and it gives us some momentum back in the tie going into [the singles] matches.
“It was tough,” confessed Andy, who came into the match on the back of his longest ever head to head, of over five hours, on Friday. “In doubles there’s obviously not as much running, but you need to be very sharp and some of the ties last year after I had played a tough match or when I was coming in a bit tired after Wimbledon and after US Open I started quite slowly. I had to make sure to get off to a quicker start which I did and we went up 4-0 in 15 minutes..”
Great Britain captain, Leon Smith, delighted his men are still in the tie, said that he wasn’t shocked to see Del Potro thrown into the mix but he hopes the decision will now backfire if his top seed can force the semi-final into a fifth, deciding rubber,
“They probably thought they had a good chance to tie it up. But it means [Del Potro] has had a few more hours in his legs, so if we can get that win in the first match, it’s up to whoever goes out for us to make him work as hard as possible.”