Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray in a Hurry to Seal GB Cup Spot

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray in a Hurry to Seal GB Cup Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mark Stainforth

Andy Murray beat the clock to win his grudge match against Ukrainian number one Sergiy Stakhovksy in straight sets and secure Davis Cup victory for Great Britain in Odessa yesterday, writes Mark Stainforth.

Murray had plenty of incentives to overcome his opponent as quickly as possible and give his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in their Euro-African Zone Group One relegation play-off.

The Scot had become visibly irked by some of Stakhovsky's stalling tactics and incurred an official warning for protesting a line-call midway through the third set.

But Murray kept his nerve to clinch a 6-3 6-2 7-5 win before rushing to the airport to begin a near 18-hour haul to Thailand, where he has been drawn to play Tim Henman in the Bangkok Open next week.

Murray said: "Not once did I hold him up during the whole match and it is a bit annoying when he is stepping up to serve and banging his shoes or sticking his hands up.

"He did it seven or eight times during the match and I wanted to get off the court as quickly as possible because I have got a flight to catch to Bangkok."

Murray's win completed a successful Davis Cup debut for captain John Lloyd, who had been forced to endure more nervous moments than he had envisaged in the course of this three-day clash.

Stakhovsky's marathon opening singles rubber against Greg Rusedski warned against complacency, and a straight-sets doubles win for the Ukrainians on Saturday ensured the tie stretched to the final day. Jamie Baker's debut in the dead rubber resulted in a 6-3 7-6 defeat to Sergei Bubka, son of the legendary pole-vaulter, and ensured a final result of 3-2 in Great Britain's favour. Murray, who clutched an ice pack to his chest after feeling chest pains early in his final set, added: "I did not play at my best but it was good enough to win. …

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