Dominant Murray sends Great Britain back to the big time

By for on
Andy Murray defeated Ivan Dodig 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 today to make it three wins from three this weekend, sealing Great Britain's place back in the World Group for the first time since 2008.

The Wimbledon champion thrashed junior US Open champion Borna Coric 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 on Friday before Ivan Dodig levelled the tie up with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over Dan Evans. Murray then returned to the court on Saturday alongside Colin Fleming to put Great Britain into a commanding position as they beat Dodig and Mate Pavic 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-1, leaving Britain just one win away.

The world number three got off to the perfect start in the fourth rubber, breaking immediately. A sloppy game allowed Dodig back into it, but Murray responded instantly to regain the advantage, and this time he stuck it out to take the first set 6-4.

Murray was looking very comfortable on the dirt, and a couple of blistering forehands earned him break points before a stunning reflex stop volley compounded his lead. The Croat, roared on by his home crowd, earned himself a couple of break points down 2-3, but Murray again responded emphatically to fend off the danger. And the Brit raised his level once more, nullifying Dodig's serve and breaking for the fourth time in the match, before serving it out for a 6-4, 6-2 lead.

An emphatic love hold at the start of the third from the Croatian number two gave the home faithful a glimmer of hope. But it lasted little more than a game, before Murray's relentless defence and counter-punching play earned the Brit more break points. He needed only one, and Britain were now on the brink.

Murray powered through the third set with little fuss until the final game, where a couple of incredible winners from Dodig gave the Croatians a slimmer of hope. And then at deuce the Croatian number two looked to have pulled off an unbelievable pass, only for the umpire to over-rule, handing Murray a match point. And, despite the whistles and screams from the home army, Murray saw it out, turning to the British team with an ecstatic grin after a Dodig forehand flew long.

Dan Evans went out afterwards to put the final nail in the coffin, defeating Mate Pavic 6-4, 7-6 to secure a resounding 4-1 victory.

Great Britain can look forward to locking horns with the likes of Spain and Argentina once again next year, just two years after battles with the likes of Luxembourg and Hungary. But they will be perhaps all too aware of how essential Murray is to their chances of surviving amongst the world's elite.
add comment | 34 comments
Thanks MH. Very enjoyable tie, great to see the team spirit, and the fantastic support from the fans - can see why the players enjoy DC.
September 15, 2013, 01:30 PM
By Elena

I was hoping someone would do a report for the DC tie, great stuff.

I'm chuffed for the whole team and delighted for Leon Smith. I think he's such a good team captain. He's built a fantastic team and the team spirit between them is obvious. When you think they have only lost one tie since Leon took it on, and that back in 2008 we faced relegation to the lowest tier of the DC, Leon has done a fantastic job.

It was great to see Andy play so well today. He looked incredibly up for it. Dodig didn't even play a bad match really, but his game suits Andy well. It was great to see Andy going for it, lifting his game when he needed to and with no obvious signs of discomfort.
September 15, 2013, 02:21 PM
By teejay1

Great report. Andy played so well and you could see how much it meant to him to be part of a team. It was good to see him playing with so much freedom and no sign of any back discomfort. This will set Andy up nicely for the Asian swing.
September 15, 2013, 02:48 PM
By michelle

I said on the other thread, but will repeat here- that's the best I've seen Andy play since Wimbledon yay
Bring on the rest of the year yahooo
September 15, 2013, 03:10 PM
By blueberryhill

Great performance from the Wimbledon Champ, clearly the difference in this tie, i think Dodig would have won the tie for Croatia without Murray's presence. I think we were all hoping this tie would lift his spirits and it looks like it has.

Also his back seems fine so double result, roll on Asia.
September 15, 2013, 03:14 PM
By The Gnome

Nice one Luke. :-)
 Andy coped well on the clay despite fears of back probs. and "not his best surface" as starting points.
September 15, 2013, 03:15 PM
By lashurst

I thought it was interesting when they said in commentary yesterday that Croatia picked clay because it isn't Andy's best surface and they assumed he wouldn't play anyway.

It looks to me as if this tie has done Andy the world of good. It looks like he's had fun with the team, but he's also played some great tennis. Hopefully this will set him up nicely for the rest of the year.
September 15, 2013, 03:33 PM
By teejay1

Didn't see any of DC, so brilliant to hear Andy played so well with no sign of back problems.

Really liked this, Luke: "Murray was looking very comfortable on the dirt.."
September 15, 2013, 03:58 PM
By scotnadian

Thanks for the great write up ,i know it was in croation arena ,did Andy and team get much crowd support.???
September 15, 2013, 04:26 PM
By iamabritt

Thanks for the great write up ,i know it was in croation arena ,did Andy and team get much crowd support.???

Yes - around 250-300 fans turned up to support Team GB. Sometimes they were louder than the Croatians.
September 15, 2013, 04:37 PM
By Elena

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