Andy and Jamie Murray combined to put Great Britain on the brink of a first Davis Cup final since 1978 after beating Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth in a five-set epic in Glasgow. The Scottish duo prevailed 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-4 to put Britain 2-1 heading into the two singles rubbers on Sunday [20 September].
Andy Murray faces Bernard Tomic and Dan Evans takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis with GB requiring one victory to secure their place in November's final against Belgium or Argentina, while Australia have no margin for error in their pursuit of a 29th title. The two-time major champion Murray has won both of his matches against Tomic in singles competition while Evans and Kokkinakis could meet for the first time a potential decider.
After day one's singles rubbers were shared, as former US Open and Wimbledon champion Murray and Tomic prevailed for their respective teams, the doubles encounter would once again be decisive in determining who would go onto the final. As expected, Andy would partner older brother Jamie against the already confirmed pair of Hewitt and Groth.
The Australia duo began the better and broke in the fifth game of the match through Groth's return winner and the 27-year-old proved the difference after a Murray double fault, to help take the opening set. But Britain had good reason to retain hope having dropped the opening set against France and they were soon back in the contest in the second set.
Jamie Murray dissected the Aussie pair with a fine net volley to break for 4-2 and that was cemented with a love hold as GB squared the match. Australia were unperturbed by a fresh surge of support from the Glasgow crowd and they took a 2-0 lead in the third as Andy Murray netted a forehand.
Groth's monster serve was looking as indestructible as ever but with Australia 4-1 up Britain staged an incredible comeback. The Murray brothers won five games in a row to snatch the third set from the jaws of defeat to take a giant step towards taking a lead into day three.
But the 28-time winners had other ideas and after piling the pressure on at the start of the fourth set looked close securing a decider with three set points. Jamie Murray however served Britain out of trouble to level the set at 5-5.
It appeared to be the turning point as Jamie's net volley converted a second break point to give the Murrays the chance to serve out the match. Hewitt, who will retire at the end of the year, had other ideas however and a delightful backhand split the British pair to secure a tiebreak.
Groth's instinctive net volley from an Andy Murray backhand saved a match point but Australia were not as wasteful when faced with a chance to close out the set as the contest went to a decider. The visitors were however unable to carry any of the momentum created by fighting off a match point into the fifth set as Groth produced a horrid service game as Britain went into a 3-0 lead.
As the 6ft 3ins Groth continued to lurch from the ridiculous to the sublime and he inspired a break back of Andy Murray's serve with a superb forehand down the line. A stunning hold from Hewitt after facing three break points saw the set levelled at 3-3. But it would be Groth who would blink first as Britain brought up two more match points, the first of which they took as Hewitt sent a backhand long to hand the hosts the advantage going into the final day.