Andy Murray d. Donald Young 6-1 6-1 4-6 6-2
The atmosphere in the Emirates Arena was magnificent and it certainly played into Murray’s hand with the Brit breaking after a couple of missed overheads from Young and a double fault and looked very nervous to give Murray a 1-0 lead which he quickly converted into 2-0. Donald Young managed to put his first set nerves behind him and held for 1-2 but still a break of serve down. Murray continued his excellent start and played some phenomenal tennis to break Donald again to lead 4-1. Another faultless game for Murray and was quickly 5-1 with Donald Young serving to stay in the first set. Nothing Donald Young could do was working off at all and Murray again broke him to take the set 6-1 in just 21 minutes.
Andy started the second set as he finished the first, in complete control with another easy hold of serve for a 1-0 lead putting immediate pressure on Donald Young. After an exceptional return of serve from Murray on Young’s second serve the Brit continued to boss rallies and the pressure was too much for Young who double faulted giving Murray a 6-1 2-0 lead which quickly became 3-0 in only 29 minutes. Donald managed end a run of 7 games in a row for Murray and held for 1-3. The American managed to get a bit more involved in rallies but nothing too serious to worry Murray who held for 4-1 from 30-30 with a shout of ‘Come On’ at the end of the game. Despite a good couple of games from Young he failed to build and frustration set it with Murray breaking for a 5-1 lead and serving for two set to love lead and another comfortable hold to win the second set 6-1 in 47 minutes and in the opening two sets only produced 1 unforced error.
Donald Young finally found himself in the lead in a set with a 1-0 lead but made a bit of a difficult go of it after dropping a couple of points from 40-15 but managed to hold. Despite Donald Young holding for a 2-1 lead in the second set he still looked very frustrated which is understandable considering the way he playing the opening two sets. Donald Young’s good start to the third set continued with both players locked at 3-3 and it being the longest set between these two with the others just over 20 minutes. Both players continued to do well on serve with nothing to separate them in this set at 4-4. For the first time in the match the pressure was on Murray with Young holding for 5-4 with his level rising but Murray’s definitely dropping with a fair few errors sneaking into his game. Donald Young did think he got to 0-30 on the Murray serve but was too busy celebrating after he thought he did but the wall was wrongly called it so challenged about 45 seconds after the call and the umpire said to replay point which they did and this time Young did get to 0-30 on the Murray serve and eventually broke and surprisingly Donald Young won the third set 6-4.
Normal service was quickly restored as Murray broke at 1-1 for a 2-1 lead in the fourth set. After letting the third set slip Murray quickly consolidated his break for 3-1 and looked set to give Great Britain a 1-0 lead in the tie. Donald Young did get a bit loose on serve for the first time since the second set but managed to hold for 2-3 from 0-30 down. Murray set up a couple of set points after an excellent lob followed by a smash winner and broke the American for a 5-2 lead and would serve out the match. Murray double faulted to begin with but managed to serve out the opening match giving Great Britain a 1-0 lead.
James Ward d. John Isner 6-7 5-7 6-3 7-6 15-13
After the efforts from Murray it was now over to James Ward who would face a tough test against John Isner the highest ranked American on the ATP Tour. James Ward won the toss before the match and he decided to receive serve to start with. Isner started with a very easy hold of serve for 1-0 without dropping a point. Just like Isner, James Ward held his first service game pretty brilliantly to level at 1-1. Both players continued to hold serve quite comfortably with Ward serving a second serve ace down the T to level at 3-3. Ward managed to get to 15-30 on the Isner serve but the big American managed to find some serves and held for 4-3. The pressure was put on Ward at 4-5 to serve to stay in the set and he managed to do that from 15-30 down to hold for 5-5. Nothing could separate the two on serve in the opening set with the score line being 6-6 so a tie-break followed! James Ward got to a 4-2 lead in the tie-break and a lucky net cord gave Isner the mini-break back for 4-3, quickly got it to 5-4 and found set point with a great forehand and won the first set 7-6 (7-4).
James Ward didn’t let the first set tie-break disappointment at the start of the second set distract him and held for a 1-0 lead despite being pegged back to deuce from 40-15. Both continued to serve well and Ward continued to grow leading 2-1 with his coaching Darren Tandy in the audience having flown all the way from Australia. James managed to save a break point the first of the day after an exceptional return of serve from Isner but the Brit leads 3-2 in the second set. At 4-3 Ward did slip but seemed ok and carried on with Isner holding serve and Ward then taking a 5-4 lead putting the pressure on Isner to serve to stay in the set. After some serve and volley from Isner he found himself at 5-5 in the second set from 30-30. At a time when it was important to hold serve Ward was broken by Isner giving the American a 6-5 lead and serving for a two sets to love lead. Another big serve helped John Isner who served it out for 7-5.
At the start of the second set James Ward gifted John Isner a break point but James managed to serve it out for a 1-0 lead at the start of a set he must win to stay in the round. John managed to stay with Ward at 1-1 despite being 15-30 down and somehow executing a volley winner from the back of the court. James followed that with the most comfortable service game without dropping a point to lead 2-1. A bit opportunity for Ward came at 0-30 but sadly he couldn’t take advantage of the score line and Isner won 4 points in a row to hold for 2-2. At the first time of asking James Ward found himself a break point after a Murray-like cross court winner and then broke for a 4-2 lead! James managed to consolidate the break and found himself 5-2 up against John Isner! James saw a set point come and go as John Isner held for 3-5 putting the pressure on Ward to serve for the third set. James comfortably served it out for 6-3 forcing a fourth set!
For the first time since the first set it was John Isner who got things underway and held well for 1-0. Ward followed that up with an even better service game to level at 1-1 finishing with another lovely drop shot. It was a case of anything you can do I can do better as Isner held with ace after ace for a 2-1 lead. Nothing could separate the two for the next couple of games but James Ward did find a break point at 3-3 but sadly couldn’t convert with Isner holding for 4-3. James Ward then won 4 points in a row from 0-30 and even won a second serve ace at 84 MPH as Isner went the wrong way, 4-4. After coming close to breaking Ward, Isner quickly held for a 5-4 lead putting the pressure back on the Brit. The pressure of serving to stay in the match didn’t hit Ward at all and a very comfortable hold to love levelled the set at 5-5. Just like the second set did the fourth went to a tiebreak and James had to win to stay in the match! James won the tiebreak 7-3 and the stadium erupted with joy.
After the heroics of Ward in the fourth set both got off to a settled start on serve with both holding for 1-1. They was a bit of a scare for James as he fell 15-30 on serve after a poor overhead wide but he managed to see it through to lead 2-1. Both players continued to hold serve well in this deciding set with Ward leading 3-2. John came under a bit of pressure at 30-30 and Ward got the game to deuce after another lob against the man but he held for 3-3. James followed that game with a beautiful hold of serve for 4-3! One of Ward’s shots hits the net at 30-30 giving him break point after Isner couldn’t get it over the net but American saved the break point to hold for 4-4. Another good hold from James Ward gave him a 5-4 lead and Andy Murray on the side line very happy with that! Nothing could separate them and we went to 6-6 but with it being the final set there is no tie-break so we went on…
Both players continued to hold serve well with the tie at 8-8 we started to think of the Isner/Mahut Wimbledon match that went on for 11 hours with Isner winning 70-68 in the 5th. With Isner serving 9-10 down James Ward managed to get to 15-30 on the American’s serve just a couple of points away from the match but Isner looked have saved it but Ward had match point, lobbed Isner and it fell inches long and following that Isner holds for 10-10 with a drop shot. Ward went 11-10 ahead and immediately ran off court for a toilet break! Isner held for 11-11 and Ward had match points but John Isner saved all 5 so far. James managed to hold for 12-11 after saving a couple of break points! Isner then managed to hold for 12-12, when will it end? James then held from 0-30 for 14-13, come on! JAMES WARD did it! He found himself at 0-40 and beat the giant from America!!!