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Murray fights back to give GB winning start at Davis Cup

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2019
2019 Davis Cup finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Andy Murray survived a scare against Dutch world number 179 Tallon Griekspoor before giving Great Britain a winning start at the inaugural Davis Cup finals in Madrid.

Murray, 32, lost the opener in the new best-of-three sets format before winning 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

The group stage tie continues when British number one Dan Evans plays Robin Haase later on Wednesday.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will play in the doubles to round off the opener.

Britain, who won the 2015 Davis Cup in the previous format, have been drawn against the Netherlands and Kazakhstan – who they face on Thursday – in the group stage.

Eighteen nations are contesting a football-style knockout tournament for the first time to determine the Davis Cup champions, with the winners of the six groups and the two best-placed runners-up reaching the quarter-finals.

  • Innovation or sacrilege? What you need to know about the new Davis Cup
  • Andy Murray cautious of schedule
  • ‘Format had to change’ – Jamie Murray

Brilliant atmosphere & thrilling finale

Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique has overseen the transformation of the 119-year-old competition into the season-ending finals, which has been met with fierce criticism from some and doubts about the atmosphere such a format would create.

While Spain’s opening match on Tuesday night was unsurprisingly watched by a partisan and full crowd at the Caja Magica, some matches have struggled to attend spectators.

Britain’s opening tie against the Dutch was not expected to be one and so it proved as about 1,000 Union Jack-clad fans created a boisterous atmosphere on a 2,500-capacity third show court which was about three-quarters full by most estimates.

The crowd was given plenty of entertainment by Murray and Griekspoor in a gripping match full of ebbs and flows, a final-set tie-break providing a thrilling finale which eventually separated the pair.

Supporters from both nations were left standing on their feet and roaring their player towards victory in the tie-break, with Murray sealing the type of win he has earned throughout his illustrious career after two hours and 51 minutes.

“The atmosphere was one of the things players were worried about in a neutral venue but both sets of fans were fantastic,” Murray said.

The new Davis Cup format

Eighteen nations are split into six groups of three, with the group winners and two best-placed runners-up progressing to the quarter-finals.

The two semi-finals will be played on Saturday, 23 November with the two winners going through to the final on Sunday, 24 November.

The six groups
Group A: France, Serbia, Japan Group B: Croatia, Spain, Russia
Group C: Argentina, Germany, Chile Group D: Belgium, Australia, Colombia
Group E: Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Netherlands Group F: United States, Italy, Canada
Which of the world’s top 20 are playing?
Rafael Nadal (Spain) [1] Fabio Fognini (Italy) [12]
Novak Djokovic (Serbia) [2] Diego Schwartzman (Argentina) [14]
Matteo Berrettini (Italy) [8] Denis Shapovalov (Canada) [15]
Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) [9] Karen Khachanov (Russia) [17]
Gael Monfils (France) [10] Alex de Minaur (Australia) [18]
David Goffin (Belgium) [11]

Schedule – who plays when?

Group stage: Monday, 18 November – Thursday, 21 November

Quarter-finals: Thursday, 21 November – Friday, 22 November

Semi-finals: Saturday, 23 November

Final: Sunday, 24 November

More to follow.

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Murray 'honoured' by UK Coaching lifetime achievement award

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2019

Judy Murray says it is a “massive honour” to be given a lifetime achievement award by UK Coaching for her services to tennis.

Murray, mother of Grand Slam-winners Andy and Jamie, has been coaching for 30 years, including a stint as Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain.

Most recently, the 60-year-old has invested her own money to launch the Miss-Hits tennis programme to teach girls worldwide to play the sport.

The ceremony is in London next month.

Murray said: “Having started as a volunteer at Dunblane Sports Club when my kids were toddlers, I’ve experienced every step of the coaching journey from local community club right up to Grand Slams, Olympics and Fed Cup, so I understand the importance of having great coaches at every stage and every level of the game.”

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Santiago To Host ATP Tournament In 2020

  • Posted: Nov 20, 2019

Santiago To Host ATP Tournament In 2020

ATP Tour returns to Chile for first time since 2014

The ATP today announced that the February 2020 Latin American swing will feature an ATP 250 tournament in Santiago, Chile, replacing the event previously held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 2012-2019.

It will be the first time that Chile has hosted an ATP Tour tournament since 2014 in Vina Del Mar (2001-2009, 2012-14), with Santiago hosting a tour-level event between 1993-2000, 2010-11. Event organisers, SACS, which has run three ATP Challenger Tour events in Chile, will work in partnership with Octagon, owners of the tournament sanction.

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The ATP gave us the go ahead to develop the tournament in Santiago, which is very exciting,” said Catalina Fillol, who has been appointed Tournament Director. “Chile deserves top-notch sporting events and we have been focused on recovering this official event for a long time, which has been absent in our country, and we trust that we will have the support of the sponsors to put on a first-class event, in a family atmosphere and with healthy competition as it has always been.

Chile today has great players, great fans, and a long history of events dating back to our first ATP Challenger Tour, which allows us to look optimistically at the challenge that lies ahead.”

The 2020 ATP Tour calendar will also feature five other Latin American events: the Cordoba Open, the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, the Rio Open presented by Claro and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco – all held in the month of February – plus the Abierto de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex in Los Cabos in July.

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