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Murrays overcome Australian duo to give GB lead in Davis Cup semis

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Great Britain are one step closer to reaching the Davis Cup final after Andy Murray teamed up with his brother Jamie to edge the Australian pairing of Sam Groth and Lleyton Hewitt in five dramatic sets.

Even though the Murrays failed to serve out the match in the fourth set, they eventually held off their opponents to give Great Britain a slender lead.

In the opening set, both teams had opportunities to gain the advantage, but it was the Australians who made the first breakthrough at 2-2 when Jamie Murray netted an overhead. The Brits struggled to gain a foothold into their opponent’s service games which was largely due to Groth’s powerful serving display and overall high-quality tennis. Even though the Brits set up break points following a nervy game from the Australians at 5-4, Hewitt and Groth stood firm to erase the chances and eventually clinched the set.

As the second set unfolded, there was little to separate both teams as they were relatively comfortable in holding serve. But, at 3-2, the Australians appeared to be cruising through another service game when they produced a few errors to allow their opponents back into the game. The Brits crafted another break point, and this time they secured the break when Jamie Murray produced a neat volley. The Australians did well to continue holding serve but one break was enough for the Brits, as they maintained their lead impressively to take the set.

In the third set, the Australians quickly regrouped and they established an early break as the Murrays made a slow start. However, at 4-2, the Brits took advantage of some tentative play from their opponents to retrieve the break, as Groth and Hewitt were beginning to feel the pressure. The Australians had seen their confidence dented, and the Brits continued their momentum to break again following some more anxious play from their opponents. The Murrays were in the ascendancy, and they successfully closed out the set to complete the remarkable comeback, much to the delight of the crowd.

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The fourth set saw Hewitt and Groth make the perfect start as they capitalised on an error strewn game from the Brits to seize the early break, but their lead did not last long as the Murrays immediately responded to break back. Even though the Australians created more break points to regain control, the Brits dug deep to keep the scoreline level. Again, at 5-4, Groth and Hewitt crafted more opportunities with some great returns to set up three set points, but still the Australians could not convert. In yet another dramatic momentum switch, a series of low returns from the Brits were enough to create break points at 5-5, and the break was sealed when Jamie Murray swatted away an overhead smash to leave the Brits serving for the match. However, the Australian refused to lie down, and they snatched the break back in dramatic fashion to take the set to a tie-break. In the tie-break, both teams showed signs of nerves as the tension mounted, but the resistance from the Australians was eventually rewarded as they saved a match point to eventually edge the tiebreak and take the match to a decider.

In the early stages of the fifth set, the British team took control and profited from an erratic display by the Australians to race to a 3-0 lead. However, Groth and Hewitt battled back, and eventually levelled the scoreline at 3-3 after they were forced to save break points. The Brits though continued to hold serve and at 5-4, they were closing in on victory when Andy Murray produced an accurate return winner to set up match points. This time, the Australians were unable to recover and the Murrays completed a titanic 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-4 win to hand Great Britain a crucial advantage in the semi-final.


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