1985 Davis Cup final

From Pete Sampras’ autobiography, A champion’s mind:

After the [semifinals] tie, the US team room was awash with the usual assortment of friends, family, USTA types, ITF types, and garden-variety hangers-on. At one point, I glanced across the room and made contact with Tim [Gullikson]. His face by that time was starting to hollow out and his eyes – an intense blue to begin with – were practically burning. For a second, we looked at each other, and each of us knew what the other was thinking: this should be our moment. All these other people are extraneous. This is about the two of us, and nothing can take away what we’ve accomplished, or the trust we have. I’ve never forgotten that moment or that look. It’s with me to this day as my enduring memory of Tim.

So it was on to Moscow for the November final, and I knew how much Tim wanted to see me lead the squad to a triumph. It was a tough ask, because the Russians, predictably, held the tie on very slow red clay, indoors. For them, it was th right move, even though Jim Courier and Andre Agassi could be as tough on clay as anyone. There was only one hitch – Andre was still nursing his chest injury. We hoped until the eleventh hour that Andre would be good to go, meaning that my job would be a manageable one: making sure we won the doubles, while Andre and Jim could do the heavy lifting in singles. I had confidence that we would win the doubles – I liked playing Davis Cup doubles with Todd Martin and, as ambivalent as I was about clay, I played doubles on it happily, with confidence.

We arrived in Moscow on a Saturday, six days before the Friday start. Andre had sent word that even though he couldn’t play, he would attend the tie as a show of team spirit and solidarity. That sealed the deal. Tom declared that I was going to play singles unless, of course, I felt like I was the wrong man for the job, and made enough of a fuss about the decision. How’s that for an awkard spot? What was I going to do, say, “Nah, Tom I’m not up for it. Let Todd or Richey go out there?” I could see all the makings of Lyon revisited – a full-on disaster.
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Andy Murray

Andy Murray seals the tie for Great Britain with a 7-5 6-3 6-2 win over Bernard Tomic. The British team reaches the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1978!
Back then, in his debut as a singles player, John McEnroe led USA to its first victory in the Davis Cup finals since 1972. He defeated John Lloyd and Buster Mottram, surrendering fewer games in his two matches (10) than any other man since the competition began in 1900.

In the other semifinal, Belgium came back from the brink of elimination to beat Argentina in the fifth rubber. The venue for the Davis Cup final – hosted by Belgium – will be confirmed by September 28th.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Andy Murray
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GB Davis Cup team

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).

Andy Murray and Leon Smith

Andy Murray and Leon Smith

John Isner
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Mike and Bob Bryan

What a match! The British pair of Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray was really really close to clinch the victory over Bob and Mike Bryan: just to fell short in the fifth.

US Davis Cup captain Jim Courier:

“We have some momentum going into tomorrow and we needed a breath of life. We’re going to have to rise to the occasion all day tomorrow to punch through and get a victory here.”

In my opinion, John Isner has absolutely zero chance to beat Andy Murray in the reverse singles tomorrow. What do you think?

GB Davis Cup team

Great Britain's Andy Murray and James Ward, courtside at the Glasgow Arena..

Bryan brothers
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James Ward

History seems to repeat itself: last year in San Diego, James Ward (ranked 175 at the time) pulled off a five-set upset over Sam Querrey to give Britain a 2-0 lead. This time, he rallied from two sets down to beat world number 20 John Isner in a marathon match 6-7 5-7 6-3 7-6 15-13 in just under 5 hours in front of an ecstatic crowd.

Emirates Arena

John Isner

John Isner
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