“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:
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
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
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
Photo credit: Roger Sargent
Andy Murray and his wife, Kim, have launched a charity raffle to win a tennis ball signed by Murray and the late tennis legend Fred Perry:
“Several years ago we were handed a very special package. A tube of white tennis balls that had been signed by the late Fred Perry, accompanied by a note from their owner, Gail Sargent.
Gail was a lifelong tennis player and had met Fred on his visit to Maresfield Tennis Club in 1994. Over a decade later she watched a young Andy Murray practising at a different tennis club, and was so impressed with his potential that she decided to gift him with the signed balls for him to do with what he saw fit. Gail was battling ovarian cancer, and sadly passed away in 2010.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2013, and after the ghost of Fred Perry had been extinguished on Centre Court at Wimbledon, he somehow resurfaced in our home as we stumbled across Gail’s parcel that had been tucked away, waiting patiently. Instantly Andy signed all three of the white balls and we realised that we had captured something unique.
The tennis world and beyond has been rocked in recent years by the tragic loss of Elena Baltacha, and coupled with Ross Hutchins’ battle against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma we are reminded that not one of us is immune to this horrible disease. So many charities work tirelessly to help those affected by all forms of cancer.
We have decided to raffle one of the signed tennis balls in Gail’s memory, with the entire proceeds donated to the hospice that cared for her in accordance with the wishes of her husband, Richard.
St. Peter & St. James hospice in Sussex has been providing specialist care for patients for nearly 40 years, and is largely dependent on the generosity of the local community in order to fund its services. The hospice provides support free of charge to patients and their families, helping them to cope during illness and upon bereavement. This year they need to raise more than £2.6million through fundraising, which is £7,200 every single day.
A second ball will be displayed at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum from 23 June. Visit Wimbledon.com/Museum to find out how to visit. The third ball will remain with us.
We hope that this raffle can raise much needed funds for the hospice and enables them to continue the wonderful work that they do.
The draw takes place on 12th July and you can enter up until midnight on 10th July 2015.
Thanks for your participation
Andy & Kimberly Murray”
Enter the raffle at: www.raffleplayer.com/andymurray
adidas welcomed some members of the Tennis GB team at the adidas London 2012 media lounge for a Q + A sessions with Tim Henman.
Smiling (?) Murray:
Great Britain Olympic tennis team: Elena Baltacha, Colin Fleming, Ross Hutchins, Anne Keothavong, Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Laura Robson, Heather Watson
British Tennis star takes on the world’s best at the Caribbean’s answer to tennis to launch the new adipower barricade 7.
Britain’s top tennis talent Andy Murray took part in a one‐off adidas tennis challenge ahead of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals™ at a secret London location last Monday.
The event pitted Murray against not only one of the world’s best player of ‘Road Tennis’ – a version of the game that first appeared in the Barbadian capital, Bridgetown, in the early 1930s – but also against Murray’s good friend, former boxing champion David Haye.
A cross between traditional tennis and table tennis, ‘Road Tennis’ is played on the street, with participants chalking out their own courts. Murray had never played the game before, and was given just one hour to lace up his new adipower barricade 7.0’s, pick up his wooden bat and attempt to master the game’s ins and outs.
The event – which was filmed to promote the release of the new adipower barricade 7.0 tennis shoe ‐ marks the start of a yearlong campaign by adidas called ‘The Game is the Game’.
The Game is the Game will challenge some of the world’s best tennis players at a series of tennis‐based games around some of the major tournaments in 2012.
Check out some pics of the event: