Great Britain
Great Britain

His teammates started piling on as the British star fell to the clay court, covering his face with his hands and basking in the moment.

Team Great Britain
Team Great Britain
It was his, and his team’s, third win of the weekend, giving the U.K. the 3-1 overall win in the best-of-five tournament. Murray had just carried his teammates to their country’s first Davis Cup title since 1936.

He looked absolutely elated as he jogged over to shake hands with Goffin, then ran back to the team huddle, where this time it was his teammates lifting Murray on their shoulders. The celebration on court lasted nearly an hour, hundreds of British fans who made the trip to Gent, Belgium, chanting, “I believe that we just won,” and “Andy, Andy-Andy.”

The journey to this point had required wins over France (featuring four top-20 players), Australia, and the U.S. Murray played in each, winning eight singles matches along the way. He is only the third player in history to win all eight possible singles matches in a single Davis Cup season. He added three wins on the doubles court, all with brother Jamie, to become only the fourth player to win 11 matches in a single season.

“Has to be one of the best achievements of all time,” said team captain Leon Smith. “I mean, it’s incredible for all of us to watch how he’s managed to win that many rubbers, that many wins, especially when you look back at the tie in France and also the Australia match, obviously a lot of fatigue, managed to find a way through. It was absolutely incredible, amazing.”

Winning the title was a team effort, but there is no denying that this was Murray’s burden to bear. He’d won his first singles match on Friday afternoon, then paired with older brother Jamie to win in doubles on Saturday. He came in Sunday knowing he had the chance to clinch the trophy. But he also had the safety net that if he lost, the U.K. still had a shot in a deciding fifth match.

It was a safety net he wouldn’t need. Murray prevailed in straight sets, allowing Goffin only one break of serve as the 28-year-old Brit expertly mixed deep lobs with searing groundstrokes. He kept his composure even as rowdy Belgian fans did all they could to rattle him.
“I was pumped the whole match, right from the beginning right through to the end. The crowd obviously helped with that,” Murray said after the match. “There is a bit more passion there when you’re competing for your country.”

Murray broke twice in the final three games to close out the 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win. He displayed the mental and technical precision that’s helped him claim two Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold, serving 12 aces while creating 14 break-point opportunities and converting five.

Murray is the first player to win three rubbers at a Davis Cup Final since Pete Sampras did so in 1995.

There had been questions raised over Murray’s dedication to the Davis Cup title pursuit in the weeks leading up to this final, questions he said were unfounded. If any doubts remained by the time he earned his first match-point opportunity on Sunday, they were certainly answered by his reaction to the win. Murray burst into tears, the weight of his nation’s tennis title droughts once again lifted from his shoulders.

“[I] probably haven’t been as emotional as that after a match that I’ve won,” Murray said when asked to put the win in context. “I’ve been pretty upset having lost matches before. But I’d say that’s probably the most emotional I’ve been after a win. It’s incredible that we managed to win this competition. I didn’t know that would ever be possible. It’s great.”

Source: Danielle Elliot/Busted Racquet

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