Davis Cup: Great Britain return to elite World Group with victory in Croatia
By Razwan Mirza - Tweet me: @RazMirza. Last Updated: September 17, 2013 11:35am
Great Britain returned to the Davis Cup elite World Group for the first time in five years after Andy Murray put on a masterclass against Croatia's Ivan Dodig.
The double Grand Slam champion came through on the clay of the Stadion Stella Maris in Umag with a 6-4 6-2 6-4 success in the first reverse singles rubber.
Victory for Leon Smith's team meant they held an unassailable 3-1 lead against the 2005 champions with a match to spare.
It has been an impressive rise three years after they were one match away from being relegated to the lowest tier of the competition.
The British No 1 made the perfect start by breaking the world No 35 in the opening game of the match thanks to some audacious scrambling at the back of the court.
The pair then traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games before the Scot held to move 4-2 up and he duly served out the opening set in 47 minutes.
Murray had won their only other previous encounter heading into the clash - a straight sets victory on the hard courts of the US Open in 2012.
The Wimbledon champion showed total concentration in the second set as he took a firm grip on the match with a break in the third game before holding to love to move 3-1 up.
A partizan crowd by the seaside were trying their best to encourage 28-year-old Dodig, but it was the Dunblane-born player who moved a double break clear at 5-2, before serving it out.
The 26-year-old jumped out to a break lead at the start of the third set and although Dodig saved two match points at 5-3, Murray held his nerve to serve out the match, despite a controversial overrule on a line call in his favour by the Umpire at 30-30.
Smith has now lost only one of his eight ties in charge and will now lead his team against the likes of defending champions Czech Republic, Spain, Serbia and Argentina at the highest level, next February.
Dan Evans added gloss to the scoreline after defeating late replacement Mate Pavic 6-4 7-6 (4) in the fifth rubber as Britain sealed a 4-1 victory.