Andy and Jamie Murray give GB 2-1 lead in Davis Cup quarter-final
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
|Davis Cup quarter-final: GB v France|
|Venue: Queen's Club, London Dates: 17-19 July|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Two on Sunday 12:30-16:00 BST (Not available in Northern Ireland, viewers can watch online).|
Andy and Jamie Murray won the doubles to give Britain a 2-1 lead over France in the Davis Cup quarter-final at a raucous Queen's Club in London.
The brothers beat Nicolas Mahut and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.
Andy Murray will hope to seal victory in the best-of-five tie when he plays the first of Sunday's singles matches.
The winners of the tie will play Australia or Kazakhstan at home in September, with Britain trying to reach a first semi-final since 1981.
"We played an unbelievably high-level match against a top team," Andy Murray said on court afterwards.
"It was an absolutely fantastic atmosphere - to play and represent your country with your brother in a match like this is very special."
Andy Murray suffered a nasty fall during the third set and is scheduled to play French number one Gilles Simon at 12:30 BST on Sunday, although Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet could be drafted in.
"It was my hip," said the 28-year-old. "Everyone's fallen a few times on the court but thankfully it was OK.
"It's sore but we've got one more match tomorrow hopefully, and then I can rest for a few days."
His brother Jamie, 29, added: "It was brilliant, the crowd were amazing, twice as loud as yesterday and we absolutely loved it.
"Thanks to the supporters who cheered from start to finish and hopefully we're in a good position to win the tie now."
Captain's call pays off as Murrays fight back
Captain Leon Smith's decision to play both Murray brothers and leave out the big-serving Dom Inglot was vindicated, eventually.
Jamie Murray, fresh from reaching the men's doubles final at Wimbledon last week, was superb throughout, while his younger brother's form improved as the match went on.
A home win looked far from certain after France took the opening set thanks to a single break of serve, but a successful Hawk-Eye challenge from Andy Murray helped the Britons level at one set all.
The third was a desperately close contest of strong serving that was heading for a tie-break when Andy Murray slipped badly while chasing down a smash.
It appeared British hopes might have vanished as he had lengthy treatment, but once back on court the brothers played a brilliant tie-break.
|BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller|
|"I can't remember ever seeing Andy so animated on a tennis court as he was when he hit the return which helped Britain secure the third set tie-break, and it was fitting that Jamie hit the winning smash after a performance brimming with the confidence of a Wimbledon finalist."|
An Andy Murray volley brought up set point on the Tsonga serve, and the two-time Grand Slam champion played a terrific return that the Frenchman could not control.
The brothers leapt in the air in celebration and, roared on by the home fans in the crowd of 6,900, they powered into a 5-0 lead in the fourth set before Jamie Murray sealed victory with a smash.
"I'm immensely proud of the brothers," said Smith. "I thought the team energy was fantastic and the crowd was just phenomenal again."
'Andy needs to be at his best on Sunday'
Murray, the world number three, has lost just two of his 23 Davis Cup singles matches and never on grass.
He has a 5-3 record against Gasquet and a 12-2 record against Simon, although the Frenchman did win their last match indoors in Rotterdam in February.
"It's a tough day tomorrow," said Smith. "No-one should presume it's an easy match for Andy and he's going to need to be at his best again to win that one."
Murray said: "They obviously have options and we'll find out an hour beforehand [who plays], there's no point worrying about it. I've played well against both of them before on the grass, so that's a positive."
Should Murray fail to win his second singles match, the tie would come down to a fifth and final rubber between James Ward and either Gasquet, Tsonga or Mahut.
Could GB win a 10th Davis Cup?
Britain won their ninth and most recent Davis Cup back in 1936 under the inspirational leadership of Fred Perry, and last made the final in 1978.
The prize on offer on Sunday is a semi-final against Kazakhstan or Australia, with the Kazakhs leading 2-1 heading into the final day in Darwin.
On the other side of the draw, Belgium have seen off a Canada side without Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil, while Argentina beat a Serbia side missing Novak Djokovic.
|The Davis Cup semi-finals|
French hopes take a dive
Mahut did not speak, Tsonga managed a weak smile of resignation and team captain Arnaud Clement just about retained his game face.
The mood in the French camp was clear when they faced the media after the defeat.
"We will talk about tomorrow a little bit later," was Clement's response when asked whether the official singles line-up of Simon and Tsonga will remain unchanged.
"For us it is difficult to be 2-1 down and it's a great advantage for Great Britain now.
"Tomorrow is going to be a very difficult day for us, but we're going to try as hard as we can. We know how difficult it's going to be to beat Andy but we're going to try."