By Ros Satar
- Andy Murray v David Goffin in the reverse singles – H2H: 2-0
- Goffin benefited from a walkover in their only previous planned clay encounter in Rome
- Great Britain lead Belgium 2-1 going into the final day
GHENT, BELGIUM – The Brothers Murray were victorious on Saturday in the doubles, to give Andy Murray the best possible chance of sealing the Davis Cup title for Great Britain in 79 years.
Murray, who partnered his brother to victory in the doubles will face Belgian No. 1 David Goffin, whose partnership with Steve Darcis in the doubles faltered to a four-set loss.
Although some head to head stats will show Goffin as having won the R16 in Rome with a walkover, many will remember this summer on the dirt as some of Murray’s finest hours, as he battled through inclement weather (and lederhosen!) in Munich to win his first clay court title, before beating Rafael Nadal in his own tin box in Madrid, and getting past his opener in Rome before opting to withdraw after two very tough weeks, and ahead of a run to the Roland Garros semi-final.
There is no doubt Murray has earned his clay court feet this season, but Goffin this weekend has been amazing. His movement and timing have been excellent, coming back from an exvceptionally slow start against Kyle Edmund making his debut in the Davis Cup, and giving both the Murray brothers a real run for their money in the doubles.
Goffin said, after the doubles: “I’ve never played against Andy on clay court, so I’m going to try to, yeah, play my best tennis tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow I have nothing to lose. I just have to give everything I have for the match.”
“I think on clay court I have some weapons to play a good match. I still don’t know how Andy’s going to play and how he’s feeling today, but I think I’m going to focus on what I have to do, and I will do it until the end.”
But while Murray may contend that one does not get to World No. 16 without being able to play, it is a different prospect altogether to face Murray, holder of an Olympic Gold Medal and two Grand Slams in what could be the decisive rubber of the final.
Goffin was tight as a drum at the start of the opening singles rubber, and for all his contention that he will be ready, he will know that all the pressure will be on him. He can certainly ill-afford as slow a start as he offered Edmund on Friday.
For Murray, feeding off the intensity of the crowd as ewe have seen these last few days is par for the course, and it is the kind of atmosphere he thrives on. Add to that the pressure to end all pressures of winning Wimbledon and knocking off another of those 70-something records, and obviously the odds are on the side of the Brit.
He said: “It’s far from over. Even if we lost the doubles, I would have said the same thing. I still think we have a very good chance in both of the matches tomorrow. Even if I was to lose against Goffin, I think we have a very good chance in the fifth rubber, whoever plays for them.
“Obviously to be up 2-1 gives us a better chance of winning. Only having to win one of those two is better than having to win both.”
We can expect Goffin to put up a challenge and it would surprise us for the Belgian to make things interesting by taking the first or the second set, to make it certainly a strong fight to the finish, but it would be nothing short of remarkable if this goes down to a fifth and final rubber.
Quotes via 10sballs.com
Murray and Goffin are scheduled to play the first of the reverse singles at 1pm (12pm GMT).
Main Image Credit: Julian Finney/Getty
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