Great Britain stand on the verge of a first Davis Cup final success in 79 years after Andy and Jamie Murray combined once again to see off a second-set fightback from David Goffin and Steve Darcis to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in Saturday's pivotal doubles rubber in Ghent. Such a crucial win hands Leon Smith's side a 2-1 lead ahead of the final day at Flanders Expo and another victory courtesy of his star man in the opening reverse singles clash would set the seal on a quite remarkable achievement.
As expected with the tie finely poised and the knowledge that the impressive Murray would be first up for the visitors on Sunday, Belgian captain Johan van Herck made a late change to his nomination. Rather than pairing Steve Darcis with Kimmer Coppejans as originally planned, the decision was made to withdraw the former French Open junior champion and replace him with world number 16 Goffin in order for the hosts to pair together their highest-ranked players.
Concerns were raised before the contest regarding the elder Murray's serving prowess on clay and those worries appeared valid early on as his first game went to deuce following an excellent groundstroke from Darcis. However, Britain fought back to resist the break and Belgium did likewise at 2-2 before a confident hold to love from Andy Murray.
The British serve appeared in trouble once more during game number nine as they trailed 0-30 and Darcis engineered a break point as he followed a poor overhead shot with a lovely cushioned volley. He and Goffin could not take advantage and they were soon made to pay as the first break of the afternoon saw the Murray siblings close out the first set.
Anyone who expected GB to romp to a straightforward victory from that point were left disappointed, though, as the Belgian duo - who have never lined up together in a doubles match before - broke once more at the third time of asking after a double fault from Jamie Murray opened the door.
Goffin and Darcis held their nerve to serve out and level the match at 1-1, although the third set proved to be something of a strange affair as neither pair seemed able to hold serve. Another Belgian break looked to put them in the ascendancy early on, but Britain hit straight back before holding. Momentum continued to shift wildly back and forth as two more breaks left the score at 4-3, but it was the Murrays who came out on top as they forced the issue once more before relying on Andy to help retake the lead.
Goffin's impressive hold to love at the start of the fourth demonstrated that Belgium would certainly not be giving up the fight, although a loss of serve in the third game of that set proved a real blow. Quite incredibly, Britain then saved no fewer then seven break points to remain in the ascendancy and another game against the head at 4-2 gave Jamie Murray the chance to serve for the win and leave the tie in the capable hands of his brother.
After the match was won, Andy Murray told the BBC: "We just needed to find a way to win more points on Jamie's return side, we got more aggressive and started to turn it around. It was a great tactical mix-up. I will prepare like any other match for tomorrow. He (Goffin) is a world-class player with the crowd behind him it will be a difficult match. We have two chances to try and win it tomorrow and if you have offered us that at the start we would have taken it."