Great Britain are back in the World Group in Davis Cup next year after a 4-1 win over Croatia on the clay of Umag.
GB were highly favoured to take this tie after Marin Cilic could not compete while Andy Murray (Bio) returned to the team for the first time since 2011. It was up to Murray to get GB off to a fast start and he did so with a straight sets victory over Borna Coric. The 16 year-old is highly rated in Junior circles having won the US Open Boys title in addition to three futures events this year but this was a step up in class for the youngster as Murray’s 6-3 6-0 6-3 victory gave GB the first point of the tie.
Dan Evans has performed well in Davis Cup in the past but on quicker surfaces and struggled to make much of an impact here due to his obvious lack of experience on the clay. Another fairly straightforward match saw Ivan Dodig make light work of Evans also in straights. Evans failed to break once as he fell to a 6-3 6-2 6-3 defeat and hit 64 unforced errors in the process.
Murray’s back issues were of much debate when it came to the selection of the doubles team for the third rubber and it was a surprise to see him out there with Colin Fleming (Bio) rather than Jonathan Marray. However, there was little to worry about as Murray came through unscathed in a four set victory. The GB pair failed to close it out in a third set tiebreak after taking the first two sets but there was little doubt about the fourth as they dropped just one game to seal a 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-1 win over Dodig and Mate Pavic and ensure that the tie was heavily in the favour of the Brits.
It was up to Murray to seal it in the fourth rubber and he took control midway through the opening set after multiple Dodig (Bio)double faults allowed him to break and close out the set. Decisiveness on break points in the second set was key and Murray went 2/2 while Dodig failed to convert either of his break points as Murray took control by moving into a two set lead. A single break in the opening game of the third would be enough for Murray who rode it to the end for 6-4 6-2 6-4 win that rendered the fifth rubber dead. This didn’t stop Evans from putting an exclamation mark on the result by defeating Pavic 6-4 7-6.
R1 - Andy Murray def. Borna Coric 6-3 6-0 6-3
R2 – Ivan Dodig def. Dan Evans 6-3 6-2 6-3
R3 – Andy Murray/Colin Fleming def. Mate Pavic/Ivan Dodig 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-1
R4 - Andy Murray def. Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-2 6-4
R5 -Dan Evans def. Mate Pavic 6-4 7-6
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