Aussies hope Andy Murray will have strength sapped

Andy Murray celebrates after winning the doubles match with his bother Jamie in five sets.  Picture: Ian Rutherford
Andy Murray celebrates after winning the doubles match with his bother Jamie in five sets. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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JAMIE and Andy Murray took Great Britain to the brink of their first appearance in a Davis Cup final since 1978 but Australia are hoping they have taken enough out of the world No.3 to prevent him from seeing the job through in this afternoon’s singles matches.

The former US Open and Wimbledon champion was in supreme form on the opening day of the contest in Glasgow and helped add another point to the home haul with the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4 doubles win alongside his brother in front of an exuberant crowd yesterday.

Britain now lead the Aussies 2-1 ahead today’s final two singles rubbers. But the fact yesterday’s doubles match extended into a gruelling five sets has offered Australia captain Wally Masur hope that the Scot can be beaten today.

“That was a four-hour and 20 match and we didn’t get the result we wanted but we definitely soaked a bit out of Andy,” Masur said. “He was scintillating [against Thanasi Kokkinakis on the opening day] but he won’t feel quite as good as he did on Friday because that was brutal. That was tiring.”

Delighted to get the victory, Jamie spoke of what the match had taken out of the British duo. “For us to come back and play in Scotland is always a lot of fun,” said the doubles specialist and recent US Open finalist, “though obviously there was a lot at stake, because doubles is such an important part of the Davis Cup.

“All we wanted to do was play as well as we could and get a result for the team, to put us in a good position for the rest of the tie.

“It was a long match, it’s so noisy, it’s hot and it’s draining with all the emotion of it from the first point until the last. I’m just really glad we could get through.”

Andy Murray said: “It was an incredible match, especially to come back from the disappointment of losing the fourth set. We kept creating chances and stuck together like brothers should. We just managed to come up with enough good returns to get through it.”

But the younger brother now has to raise his game once more and find the energy needed to make yet another mark on history, repeating his quarter-final heroics and adding another singles rubber.

“It is very emotionally tough to play matches like that, there were a lot of ups and downs, chances for both teams,” she added. “Doubles matches are physically not as demanding, as you are covering less of the court.

“But there are certain movements which I am not used to making. Sometimes your body gets stiffer in certain places but I had a quick match [on Friday]. The physical side of things is less easy to recover from than the emotional side of things after a game like that. But I have done it before and I will try to do it again.”