Davis Cup Final Preview: Andy Murray - David Goffin

Davis Cup Final Preview: Andy Murray - David Goffin

Andy Murray can give Great Britain their first Davis Cup title since 1936 with a win on Sunday. Murray and his brother Jamie put the Brits ahead of Belgium 2-1 by verge of a four set doubles win on Saturday.

chris-spiech
Chris Spiech

Great Britain is one win from their first Davis Cup title in 79 years. They have two chances to secure the title with Andy Murray facing David Goffin first-up on Sunday. A fifth rubber will be played if Goffin is able to get the win.

Brits One Win Away

Sunday opens with the fourth rubber of the 2015 Davis Cup Final with Great Britain ahead of Belgium 2-1 and needing just one win to secure the title. Andy Murray and Jamie Murray put the Brits in front with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Belgium's Steve Darcis and David Goffin in doubles play on Saturday. Andy Murray also won his opening singles rubber with a straight sets destruction of Ruben Bemelmans on Friday. That helped even the tie at 1-1 after David Goffin won a marathon five set match against Kyle Edmund to open this year's final.

Andy Murray told BBC Sport on Saturday that his is where Great Britain wanted to be heading into Sunday's reverse singles, saying "I will prepare like any other match for tomorrow. Goffin is a world-class player and with the crowd behind him it will be a difficult match. We have two chances to try and win it tomorrow and if you had offered us that at the start we would have taken it."

Previous History Between Murray and Goffin

Sunday's lead rubber pits Murray against Goffin for the third time in their careers. The most recent meeting came earlier this month at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Murray demolished Goffin 6-1, 6-0 on an indoor hard surface. Goffin won a walkover against Murray in Rome earlier this season. Murray won their only other on-court meeting at Wimbledon in 2014 with a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 victory. The Scot has been able to break down the Belgian's serve with ease in those two prior meetings. He broke Goffin nine times on 20 break opportunities.

On-Court Strategy

David Goffin's serve  figures to be a key point in Sunday's match. The Belgian struggled early against Edmund on Friday before rolling through the last three sets. His serve was broken six times in that match on nine break chances. Given Murray's track record of abusing the Belgian's serve, a repeat performance of Friday against Edmund would be deadly to the Belgian hopes of prolonging Sunday to a fifth rubber. The indoor clay surface isn't likely to do Goffin a ton of favors in the service department. He will need to routinely get his first serve in play or Murray will pound a weak second serve to set himself up well in rallies. Goffin has the ability to hit clean winners from both wings, but he'll be hard pressed to stay consistent over the course of a five set match against the return and defense of Andy Murray.

The Finish Line

Having had very little success in any of the sets played against the Scot, Goffin will need to be mentally focused and get off to a quick start. A slow start will put the Belgian in a hole that he likely is not capable of escaping. Murray has the big match experience in singles play and nothing along the road to this point in Davis Cup play has seemed too much for him. Murray knows what it takes to get to the finish line in a five set match and he knows how to close these sort of matches. While Goffin has the game at his very best to at least make this interesting, Andy Murray is the superior player with better consistency in his ground strokes and serve. Do not expect Murray to leave this tie in question with a fifth rubber and a tough selection choice for captain Leon Smith.

Prediction: Murray wins in four sets

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