Andy Murray provided Great Britain a much-needed win in the second rubber of the Davis Cup Final. The world number two took out Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to level the final at one rubber apiece. Murray is set to play in the doubles rubber with older brother Jamie.
Bemelmans Crumbles At Latter End Of Set
It didn’t take too long for the world number two to get the lead. A hold and then a break at 15 already put him up 2-0 as the match looked to be one-way traffic for the Scot. However, Bemelmans had other ideas of his own. The Belgian used his feathery drop shot to get to a break point opportunity and used it wisely again to get the break right back. A hold for Bemelmans got the crowd right back into it as he made it known that despite being ranked over 100 spots away from the Brit, this battle was not going to be easy for him.
The Belgian continued to go to his drop shot well, but his use of it looked to be too redundant as they began to find the net more often. The Brit held to love and found himself facing a chorus of boos after the tumbling when Bemelmans saved a second break point on a putaway volley. Those boos from the Belgians turned into cheers for the Brits as Murray made it 4-2 and then 5-2 up with a love hold. Opening set went to Murray 6-3 after both men held to end the set. Bemelmans gave it all he could in the opener, but still could not find a way to steal a set
Murray Begins To Pull Away
The Scot found himself with a break opportunity to kick off the proceedings of the second set after his phenomenal drop shot-lob combination. The Belgian is able to save it before he was forced to save another one. Bemelmans pretty much showed off everything in his arsenal at this point except the serve and volley. On the second break point, he decided to go for it but was not a wise choice as Murray zinged a diagonal backhand winner right past him. Another quick hold for Murray found himself up 2-0 again, and this time, he was not going to let this one slip.
Both men continued to hold serve as Bemelmans knew he had to hold to keep himself within Murray’s reach. The Belgian cracked in the seventh game as he let another 30-0 lead slip and found himself facing break point. A delightful forehand from the Belgian saves it, but as most of this match went, it was second time’s the charm for the Brit. The world number held for a two sets to love lead.
Bemelmans Squanders Set Point As Murray Takes It In Straights
For the first time, Bemelmans did not find himself down to love and was embattled in some heat at 1-all. He was forced to save break point before holding, and he knew that serving first in the set meant he either played ahead or at worst tied, rather than playing from behind. Frustration from the Brit began to come to fruition as an audible obscenity violation cost him a point, but the Belgian was unable to capitalize on a 40-15 lead. Bemelmans continuously made life difficult for himself, but in the third set, he found ways to hold.
The frustrations continued to boil over from Murray as he found himself down 0-30. Bemelmans went on to break and found himself up 4-2 as he had his eyes set to send it to at least four. The world number two refound his composure as some sweet backhands set up break back points, and a forehand long from the world number 108 saw his break lead evaporate. The Belgians continued to boo Murray as he began to get riled up. That prompted Simon McMahon to say, “This is magnificent theater, but the Belgian crowd should be careful about trying to wind up Andy.”
The world number 108 found himself with set point on Murray’s serve in the tenth game. Bemelmans was unable to capitalize on Murray’s second serve as the Scot was fired up after saving set point and then holding. That fire continued in the next game as an emphatic forehand winner gave him a 6-5 lead and gave him a shot to serve for the match.
Murray does not often serve and volley, but at 30-all, he decides to throw it back to some old school tactics to earn himself match point. The Belgian sent a backhand return long as Murray took the match 6-3, 6-2, 7-5. Despite the straight sets win, it was a much more entertaining match than most expected. As many predicted, it was one apiece after two rubbers with the all-important doubles rubber coming up as the determining key to this tie.