San Diego, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Andy Murray downed Sam Querrey of the United States, 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (3/7) 6-1 6-3, to lift Great Britain to the quarterfinals round of the Davis Cup for the first time in 28 years.
In the last eight, Britain will battle Italy in April, most certainly on clay again.
Great Britain entered the final day with a 2-1 lead after taking the first two singles with James Ward pulling off a tremendous win over Querrey and Murray beating Donald Young. The United States recovered with the pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan beating Colin Fleming and Dominic Inglot.
Then, captain Leon Smith fielded Murray against Querrey, whom the Scot defeated in five of their previous six meetings. Murray did not disappoint as he defeated the American.
“We have a really good team spirit. I’ve known a lot of the guys for a long time. There’s pressure because you have responsibility for your teammates but at the same time they’ve put me in a great position and have won important ties themselves,” Murray said.
“Sam came out playing extremely aggressive, he was very aggressive on my serve. I changed tactics at the beginning of the third set and I was able to dictate a lot of points after that,” he added.
The win was Murray’s 17th successive Davis Cup singles victory and secured an eighth win from nine matches for Smith, whose reputation has grown with every tie.
The Scot took over the captaincy in 2010 after Britain had been humiliated by Lithuania to drop to the verge of relegation to Europe/Africa Zone Group III, the bottom tier of the competition.
“Andy was superb there. Sam came out swinging as we knew he would. It’s been a massive team effort. We should be proud of our team spirit and what the guys have created,” Smith said.
Going into the tie, history was against Smith’s side, with Britain’s last victory over the US back in the days of Fred Perry in 1935, while their only previous win on American soil came 111 years ago.