Andy Murray defeated David Goffin in straights sets on Sunday to deliver the Davis Cup title to Great Britain. The Brits beat Belgium 3-1 to take the title. Murray was instrumental with two singles wins and a doubles win with his brother Jamie.
Goffin Struggles With Serve In The First Set
The match opened with Andy Murray serving. The Belgian crowd in Ghent was raucous as they made a lot of noise prior to every serve from the Scot. Murray held steady after an early Goffin forehand winner excited the crowd to take a 1-0 lead. Goffin's first service game saw the Belgian struggling to land his first serve consistently. Murray would craft the first break chance of the match off a nifty backhand return. The Belgian would respond though with strong groundstrokes in rallies as he would hold on a Murray shot into the net.
After exchanging service holds to 3-2 in favor of Murray, the Scot was all over Goffin's service game as he earned triple break point with some precise ball striking off the ground in rallies. A weak second serve was crushed by Murray on a backhand return to secure the break and a 4-2 lead. The set would end with Murray on serve as he hit a big forehand to take the opener 6-3. A huge key for Murray in the set was Goffin only landing 45 percent of his first serves. That left Murray to see 15 second serves where he won eight key points. The Belgian also had nine unforced errors to just six winners, two of which were aces on serve.
Second Set Decided Late
The set opened with Goffin serving and it looked like an easy hold until Murray rallied from down 15-40 to push the game to deuce. Goffin would use a big serve to get the advantage and hold serve when Murray banged a forehand into the net. The Belgian would dig into Murray's service game as he saw his second break chance of the match. Two big serves from the Scot would quickly negate that and even the set at 1-1. Another tense service hold in the third game would give Goffin a 2-1 lead after he fought off another break point. The next few service games were efficient for both as the score moved to 3-3 after Murray pounded out his second straight love service game.
Both players would continue to hold serve through the tenth game with the score at 5-5. Goffin opened serve in the 11th game and would go out to a 40-30 lead on a backhand into the net by Murray. A pair of mishits by Goffin would put the Belgian in peril as Murray saw a break chance. On a long baseline rally, it is Goffin who makes the mistake as he sticks a forehand into the net. The break gave Murray the lead and he closed the set 7-5 after digging out of a 0-30 hole on-serve. For the set, Murray remained precise on serve as he 26 of 34 points and took advantage of a dozen unforced errors off of Goffin's racquet for a two sets to none lead.
Early Break Doesn't Hold Up For Goffin In Third Set
After handing Murray a pair of break chances right off the bat to open the second, Goffin was able to hold on for a tenuous 1-0 lead. With some emotion after securing the hold, Goffin works into Murray's service game with some stellar groundstrokes as he earns a double break point. On the second break chance, Goffin gets the break as Murray commits the unforced error on a forehand. Goffin leads 2-0 and Murray is noticeably frustrated as he gets an audible obscenity warning after some choice words to himself following the break. The lead lasts all of a game as Murray works over Goffin with a beautiful backhand pass and then the Belgian sends a forehand wide as the Scot breaks back.
The set would move out to 3-3 after Murray saved a break point in the sixth game with an ace. As often happens, a failed break opportunity seemed to weigh on Goffin as two errors from the Belgian put him into a 0-40 deficit. Another lightning quick backhand return from Murray off the Goffin serve scores a break as Goffin can do nothing with it. Murray takes the lead 4-3 and needs just two games to give Great Britain the Davis Cup title. A tough hold from Murray ends with an ace and it is 5-3. With Goffin serving, the Belgian continued to string together errors as he fell behind 15-40 to give Murray match point. After saving the first match point, Goffin could not save the second. Murray sends the Brits into a frenzy with a marvelous and perfectly placed backhand lob for the win and the Davis Cup 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.
Murray Cements Legacy With Dream Finish
Andy Murray had his fingerprints on every tie the Brits played in 2015 to get to the Davis Cup title. Murray had a hand in winning 11 of the 12 rubbers during Great Britain's run to the title. In the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, the Scot was involved in each of the three rubbers needed to clinch wins in those rounds. Murray of course deflected the praise heaped on him after the match, telling the saying in the post-match interview, "It’s obviously very emotional. I just can’t believe we did it, I never thought I did. It’s amazing. I’ve always played some of my best tennis when I’ve played for my country. All of the players on our team have played unbelievable tennis. That’s a credit to Leon and all of his team."
Great Britain's captain was more pointed after the match. Leon Smith told BBC Sport that Andy Murray was simply incredible, "It is amazing, as good a feeling as I could imagine. Andy has shown himself to be an absolute superstar. He will be the first to say that it is a team thing but what he has done is astonishing. I am proud of everyone."
With Sunday's win, Andy Murray became the first player to win eight live singles rubbers in a Davis Cup since the World Group was introduced in 1981. He joins Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic as the only other player to win eleven Davis Cup matches in a year at the World Group level. For Great Britain, it is their tenth Davis Cup title. It is the country's first since 1936 when British legend Fred Perry clinched the title in the fifth rubber against Australia.