Davis Cup Finals 2019: Great Britain edge Netherlands in opener

Great Britain’s Andy Murray serves during the Davis Cup tennis match against Netherlands’ Tallon Griekspoor in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Great Britain beat the Netherlands 2-1 in their first 2019 Davis Cup Finals Group E tie, at the Caja Magica, Madrid.

Andy Murray battled past powerful 23-year-old Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in a thrilling contest, which lasted two hours and 55 minutes, to put Great Britain 1-0 up.

Murray battled back from 1-4 down in the final set, before edging a nail-biting tiebreaker to see off the inspired Dutchman, who blasted 52 winners.

Robin Haase then leveled the tie for the Netherlands with a comeback win of his own, beating Dan Evans 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Evans was broken when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set and was unable to convert any of the three opportunities he had to break again in the following game.

Haase then survived a second set tiebreaker and sealed the victory with a 6-4 final set, sending the tie to a deciding doubles rubber.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski beat Dutch duo Wesley Koolhof and Jean-Julien Rojer in two tight sets, 6-4 7-6 (8-6), to seal a crucial victory for Great Britain.

Murray and Skupski saved five break points while serving out the first set, and two set points in a second set tiebreaker before prevailing.

Great Britain can secure their progress to the quarter-finals as group winners if they beat Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Kazakhstan also beat the Netherlands 2-1 in their opening tie and have a solid squad of singles and doubles players.

The talented 22-year-old Alexander Bublik and experienced Mikhail Kukushkin, who holds a 26-13 Davis Cup singles record, will provide a stern test.

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