Despite a nervous start, Andy Murray had a solid 7-6 6-3 7-6 win over John Isner. Britain will face last year’s finalist , France in July for a place in the semifinals. A big challenge for Team GB as France has 4 top 20 players in the team (Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils) and a brilliant doubles pair (Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut).
For the second year in a row, USA and Great Britain meet in the Davis Cup first round. Last year in San Diego, Great Britain advanced to the Davis Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 1986, thanks to an 3-1 victory over the Americans in San Diego. Americans had strangely chosen to play on clay.
After Andy Murray’s easy win over Donald Young, world number 175 James Ward pulled off a five-set upset over 49th-ranked Sam Querrey. The Bryan brothers kept the Americans’ hope alive with a victory over Colin Fleming and Dominic Inglot, but Andy Murray sealed the British victory with a four set win against Querrey in the reverse singles.
This year, the Brits have opted to play on indoor hard courts in Glasgow. John Isner replaces Sam Querrey in the US team:
while Jamie Murray will play the doubles alongside Dominic Inglot:
Interview by Christine Thomas for l’Equipe, translated by Tennis Buzz:
Andy Murray was rubbing shoulders with Novak Djokovic during three sets and then…
His level is not good enough to beat an amazing Novak Djokovic who manages to raise his level in the important moments and also served much better than him. Andy, he was a bit shy when he led. These are the two things that made the difference before Andy collapsed a bit at the end of the match.
Do you feel frustrated?
No, not too much. In a short time, Andy has made quite significant progress. The little things are always the most difficult to pick. Andy spent two really good weeks compared to his level of last year. But to beat a world number one who, even when he is not at his best, is still on top, you have to keep working. When we look at where Andy is coming from (he had back surgery in September 2003) and where he is today, even if there are still steps to go before lifting a trophy, the gap is narrowing. I’m with him to get a title.
At Roland Garros?
Roland Garros and Wimbledon are close. We will see how it will happen on clay. Andy has good references on grass. But it was interesting for me to watch the match against Djokovic to see where Andy was compared to him. Novak alternates the amazing and the little less good. At times, you think that there is room, and then he closes the door. He adds something to his game. It’s interesting, I took notes!
Interview by Christine Thomas for l’Equipe, translated by Tennis Buzz:
I really got to know him in Miami
My role with Andy actually began last summer (late July) in Florida. Prior to Wimbledon, there were few things that came from me. I really got to know him in Miami. Because it is at work that you learn to know people, but also thanks to the time spent off-court. We could finally have little moments to discuss … only this winter (in Miami) we were able to really work on Andy’s tennis, with a training program designed by the physical trainer and I.
After the Masters, I called him several times
Andy overcame some hurdles since the start of our work together, but also since his back surgery (in September 2013). From a personal point of view, things really started at the Masters (in November). I called him several times after that, I told him what I thought of his game, the important steps he had climbed. I reviewed his game for the first time with him, and we talked together about his game plan. We agreed on everything, which was not a sure thing at the start.
For the first time, I let my instinct talk
I think one way or another, the split with Dani Vallverdu ( at the end of the season, Murray had worked with him since 2010) had to happen. I was not afraid but I was stressed, especially concerning the training program, the content of practice sessions … When we arrived in Miami, for the first time, I felt I was in charge. I’m not a coach in the traditional sense. But anyway, I had to do it. I racked my brain, I took a lot of advice and got inspired by the programming we have with the French Fed Cup team. But ultimately, I have mainly relied on my personal experience. For the first time I let my instinct talk and I soon found out that we were on the same wavelength. I took two weeks off during the holidays and Andy also came back home. Then, I went to Australia on January 3. I haven’t rest since Dani’s departure.
It’s a little sacrifice
It’s true that it’s a little sacrifice to travel, I was tired of travelling. I had thought long and hard before getting involved in this adventure. I had thought: “This is not the lifestyle I want to have anymore but it’s an ambitious project that suits me .. come on, do it!”
From the moment I take the decision, I have to accept what I don’t like, especially travels. But initially I had not planned to do as many weeks (due to the spilt with Vallverdu, who is now Tomas Berdych‘s coach). That’s why I want us to find someone to tournaments with. I can not do everything. Andy will be alone in February, because I’ll take some time off after the Fed Cup’s first round (in Italy next week)! I’ll be with Andy in March for Indian Wells and Miami. But then we gonna have the same problem. We really need to find someone.
I’m feeling more and more confident
During a tournament, my priority is to watch Andy’s next round opponent. Then I watch top seeds he could play further in the tournament, and possible outsiders. I also spend a lot of time watching videos. It’s interesting but that’s a lot of information to digest. It’s not the sexiest part of the job! Dani, he knows the players, I had a lot of catching up to do. But I’m feeling more and more confident. When we talk about opponents with Andy, I see that I’m not off mark! Otherwise, he would not forgive that, and it’s normal. He is demanding, so I have a lot of pressure.
He did not speak only to defend myself
I did not expect at all to what he said on the court. I was really touched, by his words and by his reaction at the end of the match. It is true that it was not easy for me to be at his side, to be scrutinized as I had not been for a while. Our duo was highly criticized. And I think Andy din’t say that only to defend me. It was also for him. It’s been six months since he had to continually justify his choice. He was keen to say, “Hey guys, I know very well what I do … Relax Now”.
I try not to miss one of his looks
I am delighted that he managed to reach a new Grand Slam final because has gone through difficult times. There is also a degree of personal satisfaction. It’s a bit presumptuous to say this but I think so far we prepared the matches well. It will be a big fight against Novak Djokovic. Andy lost each of their last meetings. He’ll have very few opportunities. He has to be enterprising. I have incorporated the fact that once in the box, I can not do anything for him. It’s very different from Fed Cup, where I am on court with the player. When Andy goes on court, I say: “Now you have the keys.” I like that he is independent. In the stands, I always try to slip a word of encouragement, to not miss one of his looks. There are many.
Novak Djokovic’ road to the final
Djokovic dropped his serve only once in his first five matches but was pushed to five sets by defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the semies.
If he wins on Sunday he will be the first male player to capture 5 Australian Open titles (one more than Andre Agassi and Roger Federer).
|R1||Aljaz Bedene||6-3 6-2 6-4|
|R2||Andrey Kuznetsov||6-0 6-1 6-4|
|R3||Fernando Verdasco||7-6 6-3 6-4|
|R4||Gilles Muller||6-4 7-5 7-5|
|QF||Milos Raonic||7-6 6-4 6-2|
|SF||Stan Wawrinka||7-6 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0|
Andy Murray’s road to the final
Serious things started in the fourth round when he faced Grigor Dimitrov. Murray defeated Dimitrov, Aussie sensation Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych to reach his fourth final in Melbourne, his 8th Grand Slam final overall.
|R1||Yuki Bhambri||6-3 6-4 7-6|
|R2||Marinko Matosevic||6-1 6-3 6-2|
|R3||Joao Sousa||6-1 6-1 7-5|
|R4||Grigor Dimitrov||6-4 6-7 6-3 7-5|
|QF||Nick Kyrgios||6-3 7-6 6-3|
|SF||Tomas Berdych||6-7 6-0 6-3 7-5|