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Emotional Andy Murray puts Great Britain in sight of the Davis Cup final

By Tom Allnut

Andy Murray cried tears of joy after Great Britain reached the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time in 34 years.

Murray came from a set down to beat France's Gilles Simon and clinch Britain's overall victory before letting his emotions show.

The Scot was playing his third match in as many days and fatigue looked to have taken its toll when he trailed Simon by a set and a break, but the Scot dug deep to win 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-3 6-0.

His comeback handed Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie at Queen's Club and sets up a last-four clash with Australia in September, vying for a place in the final.

Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday before partnering his brother Jamie Murray to a win in the doubles on Saturday, and the completion of the triumph meant it was the first time two brothers had won all the points to secure a World Group victory since Zimbabwe's Byron and Wayne Black achieved the feat in 1998.

"The whole weekend has been fantastic," said Murray.

"This team has done amazing things. We're punching above our weight here. We're in the semi-finals now of the biggest competition in tennis.

"It's been a long road back from where we were a few years ago but there are many players who have played their part in getting us here.

"I'm just proud to get here and hopefully we can do well against Australia in September."

Murray was beaten by Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals just seven days before this tie began, and the British number one had to draw upon all his powers of physical and mental resilience to overcome Simon.

"It feels unbelievable to get through that," Murray said. "It wasn't looking good in the second set but I managed to find a way and used up every last ounce of energy.

"I tried to change my tactics, I was making too many mistakes and Gilles was playing so solid.

"I just chased every ball down, I didn't care how I played, I just wanted to win the match today and that's what I did."

Simon was sharp and even a nasty slip at 4-3, which required treatment on his right knee, could not derail the world number 11, who served out the first set with ease.

Murray looked drained, as every error finished with a slump, and after one particularly exhausting rally was lost, he dropped to his knees seemingly in desperation.

Body language with Murray, however, is rarely definitive and as Simon failed to land a knock-out blow, the Scot hit back, winning four games out of six to force a tie-break, which Murray won to level at one set all.

Murray went in front with the third set and wrapped up victory in the fourth when a Simon backhand flew wide and, after leaping about the court with a Union Flag in hand, the Scot was unable to hold back the tears as he embraced captain Leon Smith.

"It was an amazing effort, incredible," Smith said. "He's an unbelievable fighter. Everyone sees that. It's tough on the opponents when they face Andy because he's just got a never-say-die attitude - and he showed it again today."

Belfast Telegraph


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