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Andy Murray on the brink of historic Davis Cup victory

Published 29/11/2015

Great Britain's Andy Murray in action during day three of the Davis Cup Final at the Flanders Expo Centre, Ghent. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.
Great Britain's Andy Murray in action during day three of the Davis Cup Final at the Flanders Expo Centre, Ghent. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

Andy Murray will have the chance to complete one of the most remarkable Davis Cup performances in history as he takes on David Goffin for the title in Ghent.

A 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory for Andy and brother Jamie over Belgium's Goffin and Steve Darcis at a deafening Flanders Expo put Great Britain 2-1 ahead in the final.

One more point will end Britain's 79-year wait for a 10th Davis Cup title, and it would be thoroughly fitting if Andy was the man to do it.

While he would not quite have won the trophy single-handed, there can have been few years in the competition's 115-year history where one player has been so crucial to the winning team.

James Ward's victory over the United States' John Isner was the only winning rubber in four ties that Andy has not been involved in and, after beating Ruben Bemelmans on Friday, he was the stand-out player by a long way in the doubles.

Should he overcome Goffin, the achievement would surely rank alongside his two grand slam titles and Olympic gold.

Andy insisted the job is not yet done, though, and, were he to lose to Goffin, Belgium would become favourites to win their first Davis Cup title.

"It's far from over," Andy said.

"Obviously to be up 2-1 gives us a better chance of winning. But I'm not getting ahead of myself. I know how good a player Goffin is. You don't get to be ranked 15 in the world in today's game with the depth that there is if you're not pretty good at the game.

"I'm sure there will be nerves there (on Sunday). But I like being nervous - I think it helps me. It helps me concentrate. It helps me give a little bit more effort. It might only be a couple of per cent, but it all makes a difference."

The Belgians changed their nominated team, bringing in world number 16 Goffin in place of Kimmer Coppejans to partner Darcis.

It was something of a surprise given Goffin has only won two tour-level doubles matches in his career and had not played doubles in Davis Cup since a match against Britain in 2012.

However, Goffin carried the momentum from his comeback win over Kyle Edmund on Friday into the match and for two and a half sets it was an extremely tight and tense affair.

Andy had to save a break point in the ninth game before a missed smash from Darcis gave Britain a set point. Andy powered away a volley and bounced back to his chair in the manner of an excited schoolboy.

Jamie was superb in doubles wins over France and Australia in the last two rounds but he could not find his touch or his timing.

A break of his serve early in the second set decided it and, when Jamie dropped serve again at the start of the third, a shock looked on the cards.

However, the Belgians' serve proved just as vulnerable and, after five breaks in six games, Andy served out the set.

That released some of the tension and the match was just about done when Jamie saved seven break points in the fourth game of the fourth, with Darcis failing to hold his serve in either of the final two sets.

The last British brothers to play together in a Davis Cup final were Laurence and Reggie Doherty, who clinched victory for Britain against Belgium in 1904.

Asked how reassuring it was to see his brother alongside him in a match of such pressure, Jamie said with a wry smile: "It's probably more reassuring for me than it is for him.

"It was great. We didn't panic. We stayed composed throughout. We fought hard for each other. We got our rewards.

"It's amazing to go out there and play with Andy, as it has been in the previous ties. It was a huge occasion for us, our family as well, especially for those who were there watching."

Andy added: "I trust Jamie on the doubles court so much. Even if he started slow, I knew he would get it going. He loves playing in big matches."

Playing Goffin in the doubles showed Belgium knew what a crucial rubber it was for their chances, but they are not giving up hope.

Captain Johan Van Herck said: "It's a difficult day (on Sunday). But as a team we have to believe, we have to stand up, we have to fight. Not a lot of people gave us a chance to win against Argentina in the semis, and we did it."

Goffin is yet to win a set against Murray and lost their last meeting in Paris earlier this month 6-1 6-0.

He said: "I've never played against Andy on a clay court, so I'm going to try to play my best tennis. Of course, I have nothing to lose. I think on clay I have some weapons to play a good match."

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