Murray seals British Davis Cup triumph
Andy Murray defeated David Goffin 6-3 7-5 6-3 to secure Great Britain’s first Davis Cup title since 1936 in Ghent on Sunday.
Murray has seemingly been on a personal mission to end the nation’s drought in the competition and had given the visitors command of the tie by beating Ruben Bemelmans in his first singles rubber and then defeating Goffin and Steve Darcis in the doubles alongside brother Jamie.
And the world number two will have been especially confident of overcoming Goffin having swatted the world number 16 aside 6-1 6-0 at the BNP Paribas Masters earlier this month.
Goffin, playing on his favoured clay-court surface, provided a sterner test this time around but, despite flashes of brilliance, did not have the consistency to match Murray.
Two-time grand slam champion Murray’s performance was particularly impressive in a hostile atmosphere and he was full value for a historic victory that will rank among his greatest achievements.
After holding in the opening game Murray immediately put pressure on the Goffin serve.
However, the break point went begging and Goffin held to level as Murray netted a backhand.
The two players then exchanged comfortable holds before Murray saved a break point, Goffin firing a return long, to take a 3-2 lead.
And Murray immediately responded to that near-miss, surging 40-0 ahead as Goffin’s serve deserted him and breaking to love with a blistering cross-court backhand.
An incredible stretching cross-court forehand put Murray 5-2 to the good and, after Goffin saved three set points on his own serve, Murray easily held to wrap up the opener.
The Briton faced a break point in his opening service game of the second and was left frustrated by a resilient Goffin, who survived a marathon game and intense pressure from Murray to hold for a 2-1 advantage.
Goffin continued to display impressive resolve, but found opportunities difficult to come by against the inspired defence of Murray, whose endurance was rewarded when a forehand into the net handed him the crucial break.
Murray then battled back from 30-0 down to hold with another amazing forehand to clinch a set that lasted 75 minutes.
Not to be deterred, Goffin remained resilient and recovered from 15-40 to hold in the first game of the third before breaking to go 2-0 to the good.
The response of Murray defied description, with the break back coming courtesy of an errant Goffin forehand after a brilliantly constructed lob and an unstoppable backhand winner had put him 40-15 ahead.
Murray subsequently held to get back to 2-2 and was soon on the brink of victory as a sloppy game from Goffin provided him with the pivotal break and the 4-3 lead.
He relied on his serve to get him out of trouble and move within a game of triumph and sealed it in memorable fashion with an astounding backhand lob at the end of a thrilling rally before falling to the ground in sheer joy.