• Davis Cup

Murray guides Great Britain back to Davis Cup elite

ESPN staff
September 15, 2013
Great Britain will play in the Davis Cup World Group for the first time since 2008 © Getty Images

Andy Murray gave Great Britain an unassailable lead against Croatia in their Davis Cup World Group play-off after beating Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-2 6-4 in Sunday's singles.

The victory ensures Britain will play in the World Group for the first time since 2008, while British No. 2 Dan Evans later won his final singles rubber against Mate Pavic 6-4 7-6(4) to complete a 4-1 victory.

Murray, the Wimbledon champion, was rarely troubled by the world No. 35 on the Umag clay, and did not appear to be suffering from his recent back injury.

Dan Evans faces 16-year-old Borna Coric in Sunday's final dead rubber.

"I've really enjoyed it, the whole team has enjoyed it here," said Murray. "The atmosphere was great and I thought the crowd were pretty fair.

"How we do next year depends a lot on the draw but there are teams we have chances against because we have got some good doubles players. I'm excited about it.

"Today I created a lot more opportunities than him and served better, but he was a bit unlucky with a few volleys. It feels great to win."

Murray proved how vital he is to his country after racking up his 16th consecutive singles victory for Great Britain, having also earned a pivotal doubles win with Colin Fleming on Saturday.

In front of a partisan crowd Murray broke Dodig straight away but the Croatian broke back for 2-2, before the Scot immediately restored his advantage.

Murray managed to hold onto his lead, though he showed signs of nerves with two double faults as he served the first set out.

He broke Dodig again for 2-1 in the second set, before defending two break points at 3-2 in what turned out to be the crucial game of the match.

Dodig's body language gave away his obvious disappointment and Murray broke again immediately before taking a two-set lead.

Another break at the start of the third and Murray was cruising towards victory. However Dodig dug in until the very last point, gettiing to 30-30 as Murray tried to serve out the match.

However a Dodig forehand was adjudged to have landed out by French umpire Renaud Lichtenstein, to the dismay of the crowd and the player. Another long forehand gave Murray the match and Great Britain Davis Cup salvation.

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