Britain takes 2-1 lead over Australia in Davis Cup semifinal
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Andy Murray and his brother Jamie led Britain to a hard-fought five-set victory against Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth of Australia on Saturday to seize a vital 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup semifinal.
The Scottish brothers enjoyed vociferous home support in Glasgow but had to come from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4.
The Murrays won five straight games to take the third set but missed a chance to serve out the match in the fourth, and also missed a match point in the tiebreaker.
''To come back from the disappointment of that fourth set, we kept fighting hard and we stuck together, like brothers should,'' Andy Murray said. ''It was very important to get off to a good start in the fifth. They had all the momentum with them, by getting ahead the crowd got right into it and helped us to the finish line.''
The win gives Andy Murray a chance to put Britain into its first Davis Cup final since 1978 when he plays Bernard Tomic in Sunday's first reverse singles.
But the third-ranked Murray said the 3-hour, 56-minute match had left him weary ahead of his match with Tomic, who was rested on Saturday.
''I obviously need to go and recover, jump in the ice bath and see my physio,'' Murray said. ''Hopefully (I can) pull up ok for tomorrow but it was emotionally draining as much as it was physical.''
Australia stifled the home support by taking the first set and was in control for the majority of the second.
Groth's thunderous serving, consistently coming down at around 130 mph with one reaching 142 mph, orchestrated the points early - until he was broken in the sixth game of the second set.
But the Australians again nullified any momentum the Murray brothers had by taking a 4-1 lead in the third before Groth misplayed a routine volley and missed an overhead smash that would have given his team a 5-2 lead.
It was all the encouragement the crowd needed to raise the noise level once more, and the Murrays responded by dominating the rest of the set.
Andy Murray served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth but was broken, before the Britons missed a match point on Hewitt's serve in the tiebreaker. However, an early break in the fifth gave the home team the momentum again.
Australia captain Wally Masur hoped the tough five-setter would still work to his team's benefit on Sunday.
''That was a pretty tense doubles match. I don't care if he's Andy Murray... that took something out of him, that was tough,'' Masur said. ''They've penciled Andy in for three days straight. He played with a lot of tension. We need to let him know he is in a bit of a match tomorrow, put him under a bit of scoreboard pressure and hopefully he feels a bit of the pinch from today.''
Britain's Dan Evans plays Thanasi Kokkinakis in the fifth singles match. The winner will face either Belgium or Argentina in the final.