As expected Andy Murray replaced Dom Inglot in the doubles to partner his brother Jamie Murray against the big serve of Sam Groth and of course one of the greatest Australian players of all time in Lleyton Hewitt but after the tie being level at 1-1 after Day 1 who would take the lead at the end of the Day 2?
Jamie Murray who of course has featured in the last two Grand Slam finals with his partner John Peers who is Australian but surprisingly hasn’t been chosen for the Davis Cup. The British pair had to save a break point early on after a bit of miscommunication between Andy and Jamie but they did hold for a 1-0 lead. Sam Groth followed it up with a hold to love for Australia with both teams on the scoreboard early on. A second serve of Lleyton Hewitt in the fourth game of the match was returned with interest from Andy Murray setting up two break points for Great Britain. Both of the break points were saved by Australia after a lovely lob from Hewitt and after four games the set was level at 2-2. More miscommunication between Andy and Jamie for the second time as they left the right side of the court free and this time broke serve to go 3-2 up in the first set. An easy hold of serve followed again for Groth for a 4-2 lead and then Andy had to hold from 15-30 and deuce twice but kept it to one break at 3-4. This time it was a straight forward hold of serve for Lleyton Hewitt and Australia at 5-3 were one game from taking the first set. Jamie Murray’s best service game of the match so far followed including a lovely disguised volley and Sam Groth who had been untroubled on serve in the match at this point would serve it out.
It wouldn’t be Davis Cup without a bit of drama! Jamie Murray produced some incredible defence to win the first point of the game and then the drama unfolded. Sam Groth’s serve was called out and about 15 seconds later Australia decided to challenge the call and the ball was called in and then the umpire awarded an ace instead of a first serve which left Murray and Leon Smith annoyed. Groth then double faulted to the cheer of the British support and quickly found themselves 15-40 down on serve. They managed to save three break points and held to take the set 6-4!
Andy Murray started the set this time round for Great Britain and a good start it was with a comfortable hold of serve. The set continued on serve with a hold to love for Jamie with some stunning volleys from the Brit. Just like the first set they were level after a service game each at the start of the set at 2-2. An easy hold of serve looked like following for Andy but from 40-0 up he was pegged back to deuce but did eventually hold to take a 3-2 lead after a lob wide from Hewitt. Andy and Jamie got to deuce on the Groth serve after another beautiful volley from Jamie asking more questions of the Groth serve. The firs break point of the set was for Great Britain after an error from Groth and the delight of over 8000 Brit’s they broke to go 4-2 up! 4-2 quickly became 5-2 and Great Britain one game from taking the second set! Australia did their bit holding for 3-5 and Andy Murray would serve to give Great Britain the second set. It didn’t take long and Andy and Jamie took the set 6-3!
Australia needed it and got a good hold of serve from 15-30 to take a 1-0 lead in the third set. Well, a surprise early on in the third set as the serve of Andy Murray was broken with a scream from Andy to give Australia a 2-0 lead! Hewitt consolidated the break and Australia went 3-0 up in the third set! A much important hold of serve followed and Britain still in this set at 1-3. Despite relentless pressure from the British pair they just couldn’t find a break through and the 141mph serve of Sam Groth got them out of trouble for a 4-1 lead. Hewitt continued to return serve well but the Brit’s held on for 2-4 and would ask questions of Lleyton’s serve. At 40-15 Hewitt looked like holding serve but some tremendous rallies and errors from Groth took Great Britain to deuce! Another error from Sam Groth set up break point for Andy and Jamie and an error from Hewitt gifted the break back for 3-4! How costly could those unforced errors from Groth be in this set?
No better way to follow up a break than with a hold of serve to love to level the set a 4-4. Wow. Drama continued to unfold. Break points came for Great Britain again after more errors from Groth who basically threw the game away and a Jamie Murray smash won the game for Britain to take a 5-4 lead and would serve for the set! The ace outwide from Murray set up set point from 30-30 in the game and an error from Hewitt off the backhand sealed the set for Great Britain!
After five games in a row for Great Britain Australia quickly broke at the beginning of the set to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth. With a couple of game points Australia looked like extending their lead to 3-0 but Britain broke back for 1-2! A pretty perfect service game from Andy followed and the set back level at 2-2. A good hold from Sam Groth at deuce extended Australia’s lead to 3-2 but could they find the breakthrough in the set? Another big hold of serve from the Murray brothers from 15-40 down to level at 3-3. At 40-15 a hold of serve looked nailed on but the Jamie and Andy weren’t done yet and got to deuce on the Hewitt serve and after a number of failed smashes from Hewitt and Groth the British pair just couldn’t find the break point and Australia held for 4-3. A hold to love followed for Britain with the set level at 4-4 in what is pivotal set for both teams!
Drama, drama, drama! At 15-15 Groth’s serve sounded like it hit the let cord but the umpire didn’t call it and he ended up hitting the ball into the net going 15-30 down on serve. He managed to recover and take a 5-4 lead and potentially a break away from forcing a fifth set. Would you believe it Australia managed to carve out three set points on the Jamie Murray serve but in true Davis Cup fashion managed to save every single one! Missed opportunities for the Australian team as Murray and Murray broke serve and Andy Murray would serve to give Great Britain a 2-1 lead!
With Murray/Murray two points from winning the math Lleyton Hewitt popped up to give Australia a chance in the tie-break. The first three points of the breaker went against serve with Australia 2-1 up! At the first change over the tie-break was level at 3-3 but who could find the break through? Great Britain took a 5-4 lead with a break but couldn’t find 6-4 with it level at 5-5. 5-5 became 6-5 and Great Britain had match point! Lleyton’s serve and the volley from Groth took it to 6-6! Australia went up 7-6 on set point! Wow, the match will be decided in a fifth set after Hewitt and Groth took the set 7-6!
You could not have asked for a better start from Great Britain who broke serve to take a 2-0 lead in the set and a hold to love from the British pair to go 3-0 up. Australia got themselves on the board for 1-3 but could they get the break back? A bad miss at the net from Andy put himself 15-30 down on serve and then an error from Jamie set up two break points for the Hewitt and Groth! A big forehand from Groth got the break back for 2-3! Two more break points came for the British pair with Sam Groth saying to his teammates “I can’t hold!” and after saving four break points including a lovely one set up by a lob from Jamie Murray Groth did manage to hold serve! An easy hold of serve followed for Jamie to give Britain a 4-3 lead! 4-3 became 4-4 and Andy Murray would serve to give Britain a 5-4 lead which he did and Sam Groth would serve to keep Australia in it!
Groth just couldn’t hold onto his serve and the Murray brothers did it to give Great Britain a 2-1 lead going into Day 3!!