Leon Smith and Andy Murray

Colin Fleming:

“I was part of the tie when we lost away to Lithuania in Group Two, and that proved to be John Lloyd’s last match as captain.

Then, Leon came in and we played Turkey in Eastbourne. The pressure was on because if we had lost that, it would have been Group C, which is a totally different format, and not where we would want to be at all. The tie went really well, we won 5-0, then next up we played Tunisia in Bolton, and I remember Leon doing a presentation to the guys in the team hotel.

The main theme was that we were on a journey back to the World Group. At the time, it seemed quite ambitious and optimistic, but it has proven to be a reality. Andy coming back on board has been a key thing. It makes a huge difference having him there, but it is amazing the journey from those days. It would be unbelievable to end it by winning the Davis Cup.

Obviously, the team struggled for a while without Andy. There is no doubt about it, but it gave certain people a real chance to step up and play. Over the years, a few people have proven themselves in this arena. James Ward, obviously, while Dan Evans had some amazing Davis Cup results too.”

A look at Team GB’s journey from World II group to Davis Cup final:

Andy Murray, Davis Cup 2014

Andy Murray: “A fantastic challenge I’m looking forward to in 2014 is representing Great Britain in the World Group of Davis Cup. We played a great match in Umag, Croatia, in September to gain promotion. There is a great sense of togetherness in the British camp. A lot of good people work for the game in this country at so many different levels and the Davis Cup is an opportunity for us all to show what it means to represent Britain. The sense is different from when you are out there on your own. I know I have the support from my box – that’s a given – but this is right there, in your face, the whole time.”

1st round: GREAT BRITAIN – USA 3-1, San Diego, clay

After Andy Murray‘s routine win over Donald Young, British number 2 James Ward caused a big surprise by defeating former top 20 Sam Querrey in five sets. Bob and Mike Bryan kept the US hope alive, but Murray finished the job to put Great Britain into the quarterfinals for the first time since 1986. It is also the first time Britain have beaten the USA since 1935!

Andy Murray defeats Donald Young 6-1 6-2 6-3
James Ward defeats Sam Querrey 1-6 7-6 3-6 6-4 6-1
Bob and Mike Bryan defeat Colin Fleming/Dominic Inglot 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-1
Andy Murray defeats Sam Querrey 7-6 6-7 6-1 6-3

Petco Park Davis Cup Setup 3

Davis Cup 2014: USA vs GBR
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2013 British Davis Cup team

GROUP I EUROPE/AFRICA 2ND ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – RUSSIA 3-2, Coventry, hard

It was surprisingly the first time Great Britain and Russia met in Davis Cup and it surely was a tie to remember! Brits overturned a 0-2 deficit for the first time since 1930 to clich an historic 3-2 victory over Russia.

Leon Smith:

“On the practice court on Sunday morning, there was no doubt in our minds we could do this. I’m so proud of the whole team. James’s was a hell of an effort to come back, then Dan came in and he bossed that match. I think it’s one of the best days I’ve seen in British tennis.”

Andy Murray:

“Earlier this year against Russia in Coventry, Dan Evans and James Ward recovered from a couple of body-blow defeats on the first day and responded with victories over Dmity Tursunov and Evgeny Donskoy, players who are ranked much higher than them. A lot of this is down to Leon’s sound captaincy. He has this ability to say the right thing at the right time, to quietly analyse a match and he doesn’t complicate things.”

Dmitry Tursunov defeats Dan Evans 6-4 6-7 6-4 5-7 6-4
Evgeny Donskoy defeats James Ward 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3 8-6
Colin Fleming/Jonathan Marray defeat Victor Baluda/Igor Kunitsyn 6-1 6-4 6-2
James Ward defeats Dmitry Tursunov 6-4 5-7 5-7 6-4 6-4
Dan Evans defeats Evgeny Donskoy 6-4 6-4 6-1

Dan Evans swamped by team
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GB Belgium, Davis Cup 2012

Dan Evans had zero wins from his last 10 matches, but he was the hero of Britain’s tie against Slovakia: he beat Lukas Lacko ranked 211 places above him in straight sets, and Martin Klizan, ranked 156 places higher, in the deciding rubber.
Britain faced Belgium in the second round. Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins kept the British hopes of a comeback alive after Olivier Rochus and Steve Darcis wins. But David Goffin, making his Davis Cup singles debut defeated Josh Goodall in straight sets to propel Belgium to the World Group play-offs.

GROUP I EUROPE/AFRICA 1ST ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – SLOVAKIA 3-2, Glasgow, hard

Dan Evans defeats Lukas Lacko 6-3 7-5 7-5
Martin Klizan defeats James Ward 6-2 4-6 6-4 7-6
Colin Fleming/Ross Hutchins defeat Michal Mertinak/Filip Polasek 6-3 7-6 0-6 6-3
Lukas Lacko defeats James Ward 7-6 6-1 6-3
Dan Evans defeats Martin Klizan 6-1 6-1 4-6 3-6 6-3

GROUP I EUROPE/AFRICA 2ND ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – BELGIUM 1-3, Glasgow, hard

Steve Darcis defeats Josh Goodall 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-4
Olivier Rochus defeats Dan Evans 3-6 6-5 7-6 6-4
Colin Fleming/Ross Hutchins defeat Ruben Bemelmans/David Goffin 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4
David Goffin defeats Josh Goodall 6-4 6-4 6-4

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Photo credit: Lizzim

Britain secured its place in World Group II with a 3-1 win over Tunisia. Andy Murray then made an emotional return to Scotland (first time he played there since the 2006 Davis Cup against Serbia) to help his team defeat Luxembourg in Glasgow. Murray and co then earned a promotion to Group I with a whitewash over Hungary.
That’s four wins in a row for Leon Smith’s team.

GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 1ST ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – TUNISIA 3-1, Bolton, hard

Malek Jaziri defeats Jamie Baker 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-2
James Ward defeats Sami Ghorbel 6-0 6-2 6-0
Colin Fleming/Jamie Murray defeat Slim Hamza/Malek Jaziri 6-1 3-6 6-3 6-4
James Ward defeats Malek Jaziri 3-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 8-6

GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 2ND ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – LUXEMBOURG 3-1, Glasgow, hard

Gilles Muller defeats James Ward 6-3 7-6 6-1
Andy Murray defeats Laurent Bram 6-0 6-0 6-0
Andy and Jamie Murray defeat Laurent Bram/Mike Vermeer 7-5 6-2 6-0
Andy Murray defeats Gilles Muller 6-4 6-3 6-1

James Ward & Leon Smith

Gilles Müller

Andy Murray & Leon Smith

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Jamie Murray

Andy & Jamie Murray

Photo credit: Dave

GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 3RD ROUND: GREAT BRITAIN – HUNGARY 3-0, Glasgow, hard

James Ward defeats Attila Balazs 6-4 6-4 4-6 6-4
Andy Murray defeats Sebo Kiss 6-0 6-2 7-6
Colin Fleming/Ross Hutchins defeat Attila Balazs/Kornel Bardoczky 6-3 6-4 6-4

Andy Murray arrives on court, Match : GB v HUNGARY, Davis Cup.

Andy Murray warming up v Hungary.

Photo credit: Roger Sargent

2010 British Davis Cup team

Great Britain’s journey to the Davis Cup final started 5 years ago after a devastating loss to Lithuania.

GROUP II EUROPE/AFRICA 1ST ROUND: LITHUANIA-GREAT BRITAIN, Vilnius, hard

A new low for British tennis, as the Davis Cup team suffered an embarrassing loss to Lithuania who had just three world-ranked players. Despite holding a 2-1 lead going into the Sunday’s action, James Ward and Dan Evans both lost their reverse singles. Grigelis, ranked 269 places below Evans and who had never played on the ATP tour, won the deciding rubber.

Andy Murray had withdrawn from the tie, so young players could gain international experience:

“It think it’s been 10 years or something since a British player outside myself, Tim (Henman) and Greg (Rusedski) won a live Davis Cup rubber. It’s time for the guys to get used to winning in the Davis Cup, rather than having so much pressure on them every time they play.”

John Lloyd, who lost 8 of the last 11 ties as a captain, resigned shortly after the tie:

“I am very proud of my time as Davis Cup captain and grateful to all the players for their support. I’ve been a Davis Cup player, captain and now it is time to become a fan.”

James Ward defeats Laurynas Grigelis 6-4 6-2 6-4
Ricardas Berankis defeats Dan Evans 6-1 4-6 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3
Colin Fleming/Ken Skupski defeat Laurynas Grigelis/Dovydas Sakinis 6-0 6-7 7-5 6-3
Ricardas Berankis defeats James Ward 7-6 6-3 6-4
Laurynas Grigelis defeats Dan Evans 6-7 7-5 6-0 2-6 6-4
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