Davis Cup glory for Great Britain

Andy Murray inspired Great Britain to Davis Cup glory with a straight-sets win over Belgium’s David Goffin to clinch a 3-1 victory and end a 79-year wait to lift one of the most sought-after trophies in tennis.

Andy Murray lifts the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years for Great Britain
Andy Murray lifts the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years for Great Britain

Great Britain lifted the Davis Cup for the first time in 79 years after team talisman Andy Murray beat David Goffin with a nerveless display.

The world number two was always in command as he triumphed 6-3 7-5 6-3 to give GB an historic 3-1 victory over Belgium in Ghent.

A trademark lob on match point was a fitting end to another excellent performance and sparked wild celebrations between Murray and his team-mates before the British were presented with the trophy for the first time since the Fred Perry days of 1936.

While not quite a one-man show, there is no doubt Murray has been the star of GB's campaign and his victory over Goffin, who gave it his best shot but was simply outplayed, was his 11th live rubber win out of 11 in this season's competition. Only three other players have managed 11 wins in a Davis Cup season since the World Group format was introduced in 1981.

Only six teams had come from 2-1 down to win a Davis Cup final in its 115-year history so things did not look good for Belgium at the outset.

Noise levels were up to their loudest of the week in the Flanders Expo and umpire Pascal Maria had trouble calming the crowd in the opening game. However, despite several interruptions during his service motion, Murray held to 30.

Goffin's forehand is his main weapon and it looked good in the early stages yet Murray still looked the more likely to make an early breakthrough.

He created the first break point in the second game of the match with a backhand return winner but Goffin stood firm by winning an epic rally.

Murray faced down break point at 2-2, saving it with a fine second serve, made all the better by another interruption between his first and second deliveries.

The breakthrough arrived in the following game as Goffin's first serve deserted him. Murray was all over the second serve and broke to love, fist-bumping captain Leon Smith as he returned to his chair.

Goffin kept going for his forehand and the home fans seemed happy to celebrate points before they were actually over.

If they were unaware of Murray's defensive skills they soon were, the Scot scoring with a sensational pass from a defensive position which left his opponent floundering at the net and moved the score on to 5-2.

Goffin saved three set points in the following game but was powerless to prevent Murray serving out the set.

Murray had won every match this year in which he had won the first set but Goffin would not go away.

Both players saved break points early in the second set. Goffin has hanging tough but aside from that early game was struggling on the Murray serve.

The Scot held to love three times in a row despite the home fans producing the loudest roar of the week in a bid to inspire their man.

Most of the play was coming from the baseline but with the score at 5-5, Murray got forward twice to win points and force deuce. A break point followed and when Goffin ran out of patience he netted on the forehand leaving Murray to serve for a two-set lead.

He feel 0-30 down but dug himself out of the hole in some style, finishing things off with a forehand winner after a sensational rally.

Goffin had won his first-ever match from two sets down on Friday. That was against British debutant Kyle Edmund though. This was different entirely.

Despite his predicament, there was no sign of the head going down as Goffin staved off a break point in the first game of the third set. Things got better too, Goffin breaking Murray for the first time in the match when the British star netted a forehand.

Murray channelled his disappointment in fine fashion though, playing a superb next game to break straight back. A stunning lob, always a sign his game is in good working order, was followed by a backhand pass to set up the break chance. It was duly taken.

Goffin must have been crestfallen at having the door slammed in his face so abruptly.

An argument with the umpire over a line call would not have helped his mood before Murray levelled at 2-2 although at least it spiced up the crowd once more.

The Belgian's battling qualities were fully on show and he kept going for his forehand, a winner from that wing bringing up another break chance at 3-2. However, a big serve from Murray snuffed out the threat.

It was to prove a vital few minutes for the following game Goffin was broken to love as Murray and GB closed in on history.

The end came after two hours and 54 minutes, Murray sending a top-spin lob over Goffin before collapsing to the clay and being jumped upon by his team-mates.

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