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Murray, Watson and Draper top the tables going into the final day

Andy Murray joined Jack Draper at the top of the Premier League table on the men’s side with a second win, this time over British No. 3 Cameron Norrie. Looking to be moving well, and coming through another long match, Murray was quick to take the initiative and break Norrie in the opening game and kept hold of the advantage to take the first set.

Norrie, who made a few uncharacteristic errors in his match against Draper, steadied the ship, coming back from an early break in the second set to give Murray some pause for thought. He broke back and kept the pressure on, even having a set point before going into a tie-break.

Norrie played a much-improved match from yesterday but the momentum from a win already in the tournament saw Murray clinch another three points to move up the table to share the top spot with the now 19-year-old Draper on his birthday. Draper had battled through a gruelling match against Norrie, and at times during that had looked fatigued, but pulled up well for a commanding win over Jay Clarke.

Heather Watson also tops the Premier League of Tennis tables, as she closed out a long day of action on Court Three, taken the distance by Emma Raducanu in her biggest test so far. Raducanu’s aggressive game caught Watson on the hop, and despite being able to reel off three games in a row to get things back on an even keel in the first set, Raducanu powered her way to another break courtesy of Watson errors to take the first set.

It looked as though the pattern would repeat in the second set, with an early break for Raducanu but Watsons patience and point construction started to pay off as the dreaded double-faults returned to Raducanu’s game. Watson took her chance and broke Raducanu twice to take it into a decider.

From there experience really told as she powered to a commanding lead, and although there were a couple of points of respite for the 18-year-old, Watson secured her place on the top of the table with another two points.

At the start of the day, in an epic battle on Court Three, Francesca Jones edged out one of the domestic summer’s star performers, Jodie Burrage. From the start Jones prevented Burrage from getting into any rhythm in her game, and with not that much separating them in the rankings, the encounter was taut throughout.

Trading breaks at the start, Burrage’s aggressive play saw her push time and again to break Jones again, but the higher ranked player just kept Burrage at bay, and her own perseverance paid off with a break towards the end of the set, before taking the lead.

It was a competitive start to the second set, and the pair went on to trade four breaks of serve before battling their way through to a tie-break. Burrage looked to be on the March, bringing up three set points, but just found herself error-strewn at the end as Jones hung on to get her first win of the tournament.

It was encouraging to see how Jack Draper performed after his gruelling encounter with Norrie on Monday, where at times he looked to be flagging with the pace in the second set. He confidently dispatched Jay Clarke, perhaps also with the benefit of having had plenty of match-time this week.

Dan Evans was in fine form and added to his league table points tally by powering to a  straight sets win over Liam Broady.

There was also a first win of the tournament for Katy Dunne. At times she has struggled to get her serve working but was in command in the first set against Alicia Barnett. She found herself taken the distance though as Barnett came back to force a decider, but Dunne took control in the match tie-break to get her first points on the board.

There were wins as will for Eden Silva and Anton Matusevich, who came in for Jan Choinski, and handled the heavy weight of shot from James Ward well to claim a decent scalp in terms of points.

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Wheelchair Team Battle 2020 - Day 1: Breakwell's double unable to prevent The Knights taking early lead

Abbie Breakwell made it two wins from her two singles matches on Tuesday’s opening day of the Wheelchair Team Battle, but it was not enough to prevent her Lionhearts team from trailing The Knights 4-3 at the National Tennis Centre. 

With three players from the LTA’s Wheelchair National Age Group Programme on court for the first two singles matches, Breakwell secured a 6-2, 6-1 win over Greg Slade to earn an early point for the Lionhearts, before returning to court 90 minutes later to live up to her team name. 

Facing fellow former National School Games gold medallist Ruby Bishop, Breakwell forged into a 3-1 first set lead before Bishop recovered strongly to take the next five games, converting her second set point.

Breakwell raced though the second set and took a healthy 5-1 lead in the deciding match tie-break., However, Bishop fought back from 8-4 down to earn the first match point, only to follow it with a double fault That handed the momentum back to Breakwell, who closed out a tense 3-6, 6-1, (11-9) victory.

With action on two courts, Court 1 opened with two-time US Open quad singles champion Andy Lapthorne facing 15-year-old Dahnon Ward, who was recently named the inaugural winner of the ITF’s Junior Player of the Year Award. Ward showed plenty of star quality as he broke Lapthorne to take a 3-2 lead, but with Lapthorne playing his first match since Roland Garros he took the next seven games without reply and wrapped up a 6-3, 6-3 victory as his experience earned the first point for The Knights.

After the match Ward reflected on the opportunity to go head-to-head with the world's best players. "He's won the US Open, so playing against top players like that is a good experience. It could have been better, but there were glimpses of a potential win there. I think,  as the week goes on, I'll find my range.”

“It’s great the LTA have been able to put an event on for us right before Christmas and it’s good preparation for my pre-season and looking forward to Australia, it’s a great opportunity to play matches," said Lapthorne.

The Knights and the Lionhearts shared the first four singles matches of the week after Antony Cotterill took a 6-1, 6-3 win over fellow quad division player Richard Green.

But no sooner were the scores level, than another deciding match tie-break saw the Lionhearts snatch the lead as Britain’s top two ranked junior boys, Ben Bartram and Ward, got the chance to partner two-time Paralympic doubles bronze medallists Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker.

Bartram and Whiley capitalised on an early 3-0 lead to take the opening set, but Ward and Shuker produced the more consistent tennis to build on a 4-1 second set lead and force the decider.  

There was no more than one point between either doubles partnership during the match tie-break, until Ward knocked a forehand into the net to give Bartram and Whiley match point and another forehand error from Ward handed Bartram and Whiley an epic 6-4, 4-6, (10-8) victory.

Shuker however could not have been more proud of the way her partner performed. “It’s an honour to play with the juniors, the balls that they are striking are incredible at times," she said.

"There’s been a good atmosphere and a good energy amongst all the players, I think everyone is enjoying being back and playing competitive tennis again.” 

With The Knights leading 3-2, James Shaw and Dermot Bailey ensured a grand stand finale to the opening day’s play as they faced Cotterill and Lapthorne. 

Four players who have all been part of Great Britain gold medal-winning teams at the World Team Cup gave live stream viewers another treat, Cotterill and Lapthorne showing the kind of form that has previously seen them become Doubles Masters champions in the quad division as they recovered from a set and 2-0 down to force yet another deciding match tie-break.

However, despite earning a 5-3 lead in the match tie-break Cotterill and Lapthorne’s fortunes started to wane and despite them saving one match point they eventually lost out to Shaw and Bailey  6-2, 2-6, (10-6) as Lapthorne’s efforts to retrieve a looping forehand proved fruitless.

Seven matches scheduled for the opening day promised that either The Knights or the Lionhearts would end the day with a lead. And fans were given a real treat as Alfie Hewett, Lucy Shuker, Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley paired up for a mixed doubles that promised much and did not disappoint. 

Whiley wrapped up the opening set with an ace and the final rally of the match produced the kind of breath-taking tennis that fans had been able to enjoy throughout. But Shuker ultimately found the net with a volley to give Reid and Whiley a 7-5, 6-3 win and The Knights a 4-3 lead heading into Wednesday’s second day play, when the men’s singles contest between Hewett and Reid is among the featured matches.

Davis Cup 2015: In Their Words Documentary

Five years on from their historic Davis Cup win, the British players take a look back at their 2015 journey and how they became champions.

In this latest documentary we hear from Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Leon Smith and the rest of the 2015 Davis Cup winning squad on their incredible journey to become world champions.

Quiz: Davis Cup 2015

This week marks the five-year anniversary since Great Britain's Davis Cup team travelled to Ghent to take on Belgium, for the chance to lift the trophy for the tenth time in the nation's history. Leon Smith and his star-studded Brits, including Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Kyle Edmund, James Ward, Dom Inglot and Dan Evans were on the verge of creating history and completing a journey that had seen them rise from the Europe/Africa Zone II relegation play-offs to becoming Davis Cup Champions.

After three days of intense competition, epic match-ups and unbelievable atmospheres, the Brits had finally done it and were named Davis Cup champions for the first time since 1936.

This week we are looking back at the magical journey the team went on, from their first-round tie against the United States, leading up to the final moments in Belgium. 

Take a trip down memory lane with our Davis Cup 2015 quiz and see how much you can remember from the tournament. Fancy yourself as the Brits number one fan? It's time to put your knowledge to the test. 

 

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