Andy Murray drew on the emotional and vocal support from his home crowd to establish a 1-0 advantage for Britain, after the opening rubber against Donald Young from the United States in their Davis Cup tie. After cruising through the opening two sets at the Emirates Arena in less than 50 minutes, as his 25-year-old opponent made error after error at the other side of the net, his form dipped in the third set. That allowed the man currently ranked outside the top 40 in the world to gain an unexpected foothold in the rubber and to sneak the set against the odds. The Scot regained his composure by the start of the next set though and convincingly took that, and with it the match 6-1 6-1 4-6 6-2.

Advertisements
Advertisements

He now seems more than likely to feature in tomorrow's potentially pivotal doubles match, given the relatively swift conclusion to his first singles tie.

As the first two sets seemed to readily illustrate the big difference between the two players' rankings, the Scot energised both himself and the Glaswegian support to move serenely into a commanding position. He seemed to break his opponent's service at will, with Young far too keen it seemed to give the Scot easy points through unforced errors. The crowd lapped it up, in an atmosphere not dissimilar from the Last Night at the Proms, with Murray the star soloist.

Set three proved to be a totally different experience though, as Jim Courier's confidence in his selection to take on the Scot in the first match finally paid dividends.

Advertisements

He had attempted to boost his man's belief early on, but now he could see him visibly grow as he finally managed to hold on to his serve with regularity. With that changed mindset brought a different challenge for Murray, as he could no longer simply rely on easy points to carry him home. Trailing 4-5 on his own serve, the new pressure took its toil and Young broke for the first time to clinch the set, as it was the Brit who began to look for a bit too much with his shots and erred as a result.

Any concerns that the home fans' favourite was about to succumb to the much improved play from his opponent were dispelled early in the fourth set, as Murray seemingly forgot his momentary aberration. It was as if it had never taken place, as he regained the control of sets one and two. A break point was established on Young's serve in game three and Murray took it, as another over hit shot from the American sailed over the baseline. Suddenly the aggression was back as Murray clenched his fist in celebration.

Advertisements

Young was playing far better now than at the start of the match, but could not break serve, instead losing his own service yet again in the seventh game. That proved to break his resistance once and for all, as Murray served out to claim Britain's first point. #Tennis

The world number five seed showed his excitement for this competition at the end of the match, but will also know that the likelihood is that he will need to win again on Sunday in the reverse singles if Britain are to have a chance to beat the Americans. It also seems highly probable, unless James Ward can upset the rankings when he plays his singles matches, that the doubles will ultimately decide the outcome of the overall tie. At least Murray has given them the initial lift of a victory.