Andy Murray defeated Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) in his first Davis Cup Finals match. In the process, Great Britain took a 1-0 lead against the Netherlands.
Murray didn't play any competitive match after he won the European Open title in Antwerp a month ago. At times during today's match, he seemed to be physically struggling against Griekspoor.
However, Murray survived a scare and gave Great Britain a winning start at the revamped competition. Murray racked up 23 aces to construct a win after a nearly three-hour battle against the 23-year-old Dutchman.
After the match, Murray said that he didn't deserve to win against the World number 179. Griekspoor nearly stole the show against his childhood idol before failing to resist pressure in the final rounds.
After securing the victory, Murray said "I'm obviously relieved. I don't think I deserved to win. I fought really hard at the end but he dictated a lot of the match. He was going for huge second serves. I fought hard. It was tough. We knew he hurt his ankle four weeks ago. I didn't know much about him. He's had some good wins this year. He took some chances on his serve, put me on the back foot. The atmosphere was brilliant. That was the one concern I had in the new format. You want to see that in every match."
Before the tournament commenced, Murray revealed that he was at the heaviest weight of his career because when he was spending time with his newborn son on a vacation. Later he joked with the media about the need to lose "the last couple of kilos".
The group-stage encounter will continue as the British number one Dan Evans takes on Robin Haase later on Wednesday. Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will then play in the doubles.
Britain previously won the 2015 Davis Cup, which was played in the old format. This year, they are grouped alongside the Netherlands and Kazakhstan. They will face Kazakhstan on Thursday.
This year, the Davis Cup has been rebranded as the World Cup of Tennis. A total of 18 nations will compete in a football-style knockout tournament for the first time ever, to determine the Davis Cup champions.
The winners of each of the six groups along with the two best-placed runners-up will reach the quarter-finals.