Monday, 7 December 2015

Andy Murray: Davis Cup triumph is my most emotional victory

Andy Murray
Andy Murray said securing Britain's first Davis Cup win for 79 years was a more emotional experience than winning Grand Slam titles or Olympic gold.
The British number one beat Belgium's David Goffin in straight sets to give them an unassailable 3-1 lead in Ghent.
Murray, 28, won 11 of 12 points during Britain's first successful campaign since 1936.
"It's an amazing feeling. I imagine it will take a few days before it really sinks in," said the Scot.
"I've been pretty upset having lost matches before but I'd say that's probably the most emotional I've been after a win.
"It's incredible that we managed to win this competition. I didn't know that would ever be possible. It's great."
Route to Davis Cup glory
RoundResult
First roundBeat United States 3-2 at home (indoors)
Quarter-finalsBeat France 3-1 at home (grass)
Semi-finalsBeat Australia 3-2 at home (indoors)
FinalBeat Belgium 3-1 away from home (clay)
Murray was the dominant force for the fourth Davis Cup tie running as he became only the third man after John McEnroe and Mats Wilander to end a campaign with an 8-0 singles record.
He also matched American great Pete Sampras 20 years ago, the last man to win three live rubbers in a final.
"To have won all of the singles matches I played this year is great," Murray said. "I'm glad I was able to help the team. It doesn't happen too often. I'm proud of that."
Leon Smith, Murray's childhood coach, became Davis Cup captain five years ago with the team a play-off away from relegation to the event's lowest tier, and paid tribute to the efforts of his fellow Scot.
Great Britain's last Davis Cup winning team
Great Britain's last victorious Davis Cup team consisted of (left to right) Bunny Austin, Fred Perry, Raymond Tuckey and Pat Hughes. The Davis Cup has added two plinths since 1936
"He's just incredible," said Smith. "But he'll be the first to say that this is a team effort, and rightly so.
"What he's managed to do for this team is astonishing, to post that many wins in one year. He's put his whole body, his whole mind on the line every single time for the team.
"Really it's incredible. We're all grateful and proud of him. I know he'll say it's about the team, but we are really thankful for what he does."

Party like it is 1936

Davis Cup
Leon Smith and Andy Murray won the prestigious Orange Bowl junior event together when Murray was 12
A tight-knit British squad rushed to celebrate with their number one player after a magnificent lob clinched victory.
Kyle Edmund made his debut in the final, while James Ward has been an ever present in Smith's teams and provided a crucial win against the United States in round one, while Dom Inglot added world-class depth to a doubles roster boosted by Jamie Murray enjoying the best year of his career.

'An unbelievable experience'

Davis Cup winners
Jamie Murray posted the above picture on Instagram with the message "Davis Cup Winners 2015!!!"
Jamie Murray: "It's huge for me. By far the biggest achievement in my career. I mean, I've had an amazing season. This is an unbelievable way to cap it off."
James Ward: "Overall it's been a long journey. I was there in the first tie with Leon in Eastbourne and I've been pretty much present in every tie, which has been a great achievement for myself. But to be part of the team as well is an amazing feeling, something that is well-deserved for all of us."
Kyle Edmund: "It's been a really good experience for me, something that I'll learn from. I'm still obviously young. This type of experience on the world stage, it can't get any better. It can only be a positive for me."
Dom Inglot
Dom Inglot was the fifth member of the squad and was left out in favour of James Ward and Kyle Edmund

Victory can drive interest in tennis - LTA

Davis Cup
Great Britain last played Belgium in the Davis Cup in 2012 - losing in Europe/Africa Zone Group I
The Lawn Tennis Association, governing body of tennis in the UK, was criticised for failing to capitalise on Murray's Wimbledon victory in 2013 as participation levels remained an issue.
Murray has said that his job remains delivering success on court, and it is for others to take responsibility for spreading wider interest in the sport.
"These are very, very special and emotional moments that can drive interest in our sport," said LTA chief Michael Downey.
"We've probably got a couple of great weeks of coverage now, and that's going to drive participation. We're hoping this team wins [BBC Sports Personality] Team of the Year later in December, and our team gets to come back to a home tie in Birmingham in March.
"That's the time we want to see the activation hit a high level."

All change in 2016?

Captain Leon Smith lifts the Davis Cup
Captain Leon Smith has won 12 of 14 ties since taking over as Davis Cup captain in 2010
Murray has already said that he will be available for the first-round tie against Japan in March, one month after his wife Kim is due to give birth to their first child.
A victory would secure Britain's World Group status into 2017, and Murray has indicated that a second-round tie - potentially away to Serbia - would prove "very difficult" as it falls after Wimbledon but before the Olympic Games.
It is possible that Aljaz Bedene, the Slovenia-born world number 45, will be available for that tie as Downey is "cautiously optimistic" the 26-year-old will be deemed eligible to represent Great Britain in a tribunal next March.
The other questions surround the future of Smith, the 39-year-old who has guided Britain from the brink of the Davis Cup fourth tier to champions within five years.
More on Great Britain's triumph
Watch the moment Britain won the Davis Cup
Team can inspire a generation
Inspired by Britain's win? Find out how to get into tennis
Asked if the Scot would be staying on, Downey said: "I sure hope so." He added: "He's a very, very special young man, and I really believe Leon is the world's best Davis Cup captain, and has been for a while."
As for the man himself, Smith was keen to just enjoy a moment he admitted he could scarcely believe had come to pass.
"We'll just soak up the next couple of days as a team together, really enjoy it, then we'll see what happens after that," said Smith.
"But it's really not important. Just now what's important is what's been achieved. It's monumental."
Davis Cup
Andy Murray has won 27 of the 29 Davis Cup singles rubbers he has played in during his career
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