Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Henman Gets Lucky as He Bids Farewell; at Full Stretch: Andy Murray Had to Work Hard against Croatia's Marin Cilic in Great Britain's Opening Rubber at the Davis Cup Today

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Henman Gets Lucky as He Bids Farewell; at Full Stretch: Andy Murray Had to Work Hard against Croatia's Marin Cilic in Great Britain's Opening Rubber at the Davis Cup Today

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

TIM HENMAN'S last hurrah as a tennis professional received a massiveboost on the opening day of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie at Wimbledon whenCroatian No1 Ivan Ljubicic was forced to withdraw from the second singlesrubber. Ljubicic, ranked 12th in the world, succumbed overnight to a urinarycomplaint and his place against Henman was taken by Roko Karanusic, a far lessthreatening player outside the top 150.

It was stroke of luck that both Henman, set to retire following the World Grouppromotion match, and Britain needed because Andy Murray struggled to make hismark in the opening singles against lanky teenager Marin Cilic.

Murray, at 18 in the rankings, was expected to dominate a rival 90 places belowhim and who has yet to claim an ATP title.

But Cilic exploited Murray's tepid play to take the first set 6-3 and theBritish No1 had to up his game to level by taking the second 6-4 .

At last Murray began to look the superior player. This was a special occasionfor him, as he had missed Wimbledon after sustaining a serious wrist injury inMay, and he started playing special tennis to take the third set away from hisopponent.

From 4-4 in the second set Cilic failed to win a game until the sixth game ofthe third, but Murray claimed the set 6-2.

Henman could have warned Murray that he was in for a fight because he fell toCilic in a surprise firstround defeat in the Artois Tournament at Queen's inJune.

Yet Murray looked to have the measure of Cilic, 19 next week, right from thestart as the Scot twice had break points in the opening game.

But resolutely refusing to come into the net he wasted both chances and wasthen broken himself in the fourth game with a weak forehand into the net on thevital point.

It was only in the second set that Murray began to motor, raising his game tomatch the raucous atmosphere inside Court One. …

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