GLASGOW: Andy Murray sealed a Davis Cup quarterfinals berth for Great Britain with a straight-sets victory over American number one John Isner in Glasgow on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Murray’s 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 7-6 (7/4) triumph at home repeated Britain’s win over the 32-time champions in San Diego last year and set up a last eight clash against France, at a venue to be decided in July.
The 27-year-old had put Britain on their way by taking two sets inside 46 minutes in a 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory against Donald Young on Friday.
Teammate James Ward, ranked 111th in the world, then fought from two sets down to shock world number 20 Isner before Murray’s brother Jamie and Dom Ingol took two sets before falling to Mike and Bob Bryan, the top doubles team of all time.
The tie ended 3-2 on Sunday night after Ward retired in the final dead rubber despite being 7-5, 0-1 up against Young.
“It’s a big win. It means a lot to everyone, all the staff and the players,” said former Wimbledon champion Murray.
“I was very emotional the whole weekend. I know the team extremely well, the players and the staff.”
“I was proud of them as team-mates and also as friends and my brother of the way they performed and thought in this arena and under that much pressure. All of them did incredibly well. I was proud to be part of their team.”
Isner came out in battling form, hitting six aces in his first two service games, but was left to rue seven break points in the first set.
Murray struggled early on his serve, admitting he had felt the pressure a bit too much at the start of the final day’s play.
He fought off three break points after two double faults to tie the score at 4-4 and then saved three set points in his next service game, producing aces at crucial moments.
Big-serving Isner hit 12 aces before the tie-break but some brilliant backhand slices gave Murray the advantage and a stunning lob saw him break in the second set.
Murray stayed out of trouble in the third wrapping up the victory in 2hr 31min for the nine-time winners who last won the men’s team title in 1936.
“I felt a little bit more pressure today to try to close it out and also the way John approached the match made it difficult,” said Murray.
“I knew James was extremely tired and it would be very tough ask for him to win that match after me,” added Murray.
Isner blamed himself for the defeat.
“This one’s on me,” he said. “My team-mates may say otherwise but my loss on Friday put us in a huge hole. It’s so, so disappointing for me.
“Beating Andy in this atmosphere, I tried my best, but there are not many people can beat him out there.”
US captain Jim Courier added: “Losing always hurts, we want to win the trophy. I would prefer to be moving on but the better team got us and we came up a little short.”
Britain will again be at home in the last eight on July 17-19 against France, who beat Germany 3-2 in Frankfurt after winning the first three rubbers, including singles triumphs for world top-20 players Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils.