Andy Murray sealed the final win against Belgium’s David Goffin in three sets to give Great Britain their first win in 79 years on Sunday at the Expo Arena in Ghent.
The last time Great Britain won the Davis Cup was in 1936, when Fred Perry and Bunny Austin led the way against Australia in the final.
Murray remained undefeated with an 11-0 doubles/single match record and became the first player since Pete Sampras to win three rubbers in a Davis Cup final.
Captain Leon Smith guided Great Britain from the third group tier five years ago in July when they faced Turkey in a relegation playoff, to now win the Davis Cup title.
Great Britain’s Andy Murray Wins Back First Davis Cup Crown Since 1936
Andy Murray defeated David Goffin in the fourth rubber 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, to clinch Great Britain’s 10th title in history.
Goffin fought well, but Murray proved his superiority and was able to take down the world’s #16 in three straight sets.
Although, it took much more effort from the Scot compared to their last confrontation in Paris, where he defeated the Belgian 6-1, 6-0.
Murray faced a break point at 2-2 in the first set but managed to hold and subsequently break to withstand a 5-2 lead, that later was converted by the Brit into a promising 6-3.
Goffin struggled with his serve due to his low first serve percentage, handing Murray the opportunity to take the initiative with his hard hitting return.
For the second set, the Belgian elevated his game and captain Van Herck made a change in strategy.
Goffin started playing aggressively, going for down the line shots, while using an effective forehand angled shot strategy to open up spaces that continuously led Murray into a defensive position.
Although, the Scot kept his pace, defending brilliantly and having a response to Goffin’s tactical approach.
The 13,000 fans at the Expo Arena roared as Goffin put up a grueling fight and tied the brawl at 5-5.
Match decisive moment: The Belgian missed a critical shot serving at 5-5 15/0. Murray was able to reach an almost impossible shot barely, and Goffin, who intended to play a forehand drop shot, could not make it go over to secure a 30/0 lead. Murray, then built up through the game, breaking the Belgians serve followed by holding his own to clinch the set 7-5 and secure the 2-0 lead.
The crowd was amazed when Goffin kept fighting, breaking Murray’s serve for the first time at 1-1 in the third set.
However, Murray calmed down any of the Belgians expectations as he immediately broke back and maintained his excellent form throughout the set to confirm a 5-3 lead.
The Scot sealed the 2015 Davis Cup crown with his trademark backhand lob over the Belgian, to break serve at 5-3 0/40 winning back the tennis World Cup since 1936.
How the Final was Won
Kyle Edmunds debut
The last player to make his debut in a Davis Cup final was 14-time Grand Slam winner Pete Sampras against France in 1991.
Sampras, who was the USA #1 at 20 years old, lost his both singles during the finals.
The former world #1 played his debut against Henry LeConte and was defeated in straight sets. Subsequently he again lost to Guy Forget in the decisive rubber to give France the 3-1 victory and the Davis Cup title.
Edmund, who was considered the underdog against world’s number sixteen David Goffin, made an impressive start to the match, giving GB fans hopes of playing the decisive doubles on Saturday with an unexpected 2-0 lead.
The 20-year-old rookie started his debut pounding his serve and forehand giving him an impressive 6-3, 6-1 lead.
Goffin seemed startled, his eyes gazed with worries, as Belgium Captain Van Herck also could not find a response against Edmund’s hard hitting strokes.
The 20-year-old ranked 100 in the ATP was playing superbly.
However, the rookies magic would not last, as nerves got into his mind and body.
Edmunds footwork, which was intense throughout the first two sets, dozed off for the last three, plunging his shot accuracy and limiting the damage to an experienced Goffin, who would only let the South African-born win four games in the remainder of the match.
Most of credit for the 25-year-old top twenty player. The Belgian ‘smelled’ the rookie’s fear and was able to settle his mind/game to overcome from a 0-2 set deficit and give Belgium the crucial win that maintained their hopes alive of Davis Cup victory.
Britain’s young talent must feel comfort after demonstrating his extraordinary capacity against a top twenty player in his first ever Davis Cup appearance.
Andy Murray cruised over Rubin Bemelmans
Two weeks ago ATP ranked 106 Bemelmans was playing a club match in France while Murray battled at the London O2 Arena against the best players in the world.
Murray demonstrated his superiority and was able to defeat Bemelmans in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
However, Bemelmans had a mission, keep the Scot on the court for at least two and half hours, tire him and make the most of the match.
In a Davis Cup tie, captains do not always expect to win each rubber.
Tiring the opposing team’s key player is part of the Davis Cup strategy.
Three days of extreme pressure can make a players body and mind unsettle, making him more vulnerable.
With a drop shot tactic, Bemelmans showed a great tennis display and even had a set point at 5-4 in the third but it was not enough to overcome world’s number two.
Murray Brothers against Goffin/Darcis
Belgium Captain Van Herck, who clarified they had changed the doubles lineup weeks ago, which included Goffin to partner Darcys to confront the Murray brothers.
The two Belgians had never played together in their career, either on the ATP Tour or during the Davis Cup run.
However, after Bemelmans/Darcys showed a poor display against Argentina in the semifinals, Van Herck decided to play their number one singles and gamble their chances.
The selection seemed to show results after the Belgians won the second set and tied the rubber at one.
Elder brother Jamie, who had excelled in the previous rounds against France and Australia, was affected by the clay court strategy imposed by the host, struggling during the first two sets.
Jamie had not participated in a clay court tournament for the past six months.
However, the rock-solid presence of Andy Murray made the difference that carried GB for what was known to be the key weekend matchup.
Throughout the third set, there were five breaks in six games between both teams, but Andy was able to hold and clinch it 6-3.
Darcis proved to be the weakest link in the two final sets, struggling mightily with his serve and groundstrokes, making a high count of unforced errors that diminish Belgium’s chances of winning the deciding rubber.
The ATP ranked 86, who had not played a tournament in five weeks, could not hold his serve after the second set and double-faulted to give the Brits an early break in the fourth.
After saving seven break points in a nerve-wracking Jamie service game, and once again the Brits had broken Darcis, world’s number two served and held to consolidate the 2-1 lead to print out the script predicted by Captain Smith: win one single on Friday, the doubles and close out victory with Andy’s single on Sunday.
Final Scores (3-1)
David Goffin def. Kyle Edmund 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0
Andy Murray def. Rubin Bemelmans 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
Andy Murray/Jamie Murray def. David Goffin/Steve Darcis 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Andy Murray def. David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3