Only Belgium now stand between Great Britain and a place in national tennis folklore. That is the task ahead, after the Murray brothers combined to defeat Australia in the Davis Cup semi-final at a vociferous Emirates Arena over the weekend. Not forgetting the other member of the team in action against the Aussies, Dan Evans of course, who battled valiantly despite losing both of his singles ties. However, it was ultimately down to Andy Murray to win both of his singles rubbers and then combine with his brother Jamie to snare the decisive point from the doubles, as GB won 3-2.

Honours even after day one

Day one in Glasgow had seen the younger Murray barely breaking into a sweat, breezing through a one-sided match against Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3 6-0 6-3.

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Evans valiantly sought to justify his selection ahead of both James Ward and the slightly injured Kyle Edmund for the singles, taking a set off Bernard Tomic before eventually going down 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (4-7) 6-4.

Doubles victory proves decisive

As many had expected, the two nations were ultimately separated in the tie by the outcome of the thrilling middle day doubles rubber. The pairing of the Murray brothers seemed to offer Britain the best chance of success, despite the possibility of sapping Andy’s energy levels for the final day’s singles should the match stretch into a fifth set. Almost predictably that is precisely what happened, as Lleyton Hewitt’s final Davis Cup appearance ensured no easy victory for the Brits. The Murrays had to dig deep before claiming a 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 success over Hewitt and his partner Sam Groth, after a little under four hours of play.

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Andy turns up the heat on Tomic

Andy was clearly seeking a quick victory against Tomic in his second singles rubber, after his exertions the day before. With the crowd heavily behind him, Tomic was a beaten man long before the eventual 7-5 6-3 6-2 outcome. That left the remaining truncated tie as a dead rubber, but for the record it was Kokkinakis who overcame Evans 7-5 6-4.

Home advantage for Belgium in the final

Their opposition in the final will be Belgium, who came back from 2-1 down to Argentina overnight to take their semi-final tie 3-2 in Brussels. GB were probably hoping that the South Americans would hold on, given that a victory for them would have ensured home advantage in the final for the Brits. As it is they will now concede home advantage to the Belgians, the final scheduled to be played between 27th and 29th November.

What’s more, the expectation is that the canny Belgians will look to give themselves the best chance of blunting Andy Murray’s singles dominance. They will pin their main hopes on David Goffin ranked 15th in the world, who enjoyed a walkover in Rome over Murray earlier this year but lost to him at Wimbledon the year before in their only other head to head clash.

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That probably infers that the match will be played on clay, the Scot’s least favourite surface on the ATP tour. They would most likely have chosen clay anyway, given that they have done so in no fewer than four of their last six Davis Cup ties played on home soil.

Murray may opt out of O2 finals?

That leaves Andy pondering on whether to compete at this year’s World Tour Finals at the O2 or not. That tournament is played on a hard court and finishes less than a week before the Davis Cup final begins, so he may opt out of the event should Belgium choose clay as their choice of surface.

Murray’s commitment and focus for the Davis Cup this season seems total as GB seek a first triumph in the final since 1936. Belgium will also be out to make history of their own though, as they look to go one better than their loss in the final in 1904! #Celebrities #Tennis