BELGRADE, Serbia — Kyle Edmund stepped into the role of Andy Murray and took titleholder Britain into the semifinals of the Davis Cup by beating Dusan Lajovic of Serbia in straight sets in the first of the reverse singles on Sunday.
Edmund’s 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win on a wet and windy day at the outdoor Tasmajdan clay-court stadium gave Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five series.
Edmund also won his opening singles on Friday against Janko Tipsarevic as he assumed the role of Murray as the leader of the team.
Murray decided not to play a few days after his second Wimbledon title but cheered the team on from the sidelines.
Britain hosts Argentina in September in the semifinals.
Edmund had to save two set points in the third set before holding serve and he won despite falling behind 4-2 in the tiebreaker.
Lajovic sent a wild backhand way wide to give Edmund a match point and the Briton converted when Lajovic hit another backhand wide.
Edmund had broken serve for a 4-3 lead in the final sent but dropped his serve for the first time in the match in the 10th game.
Edmund had breezed through the first set, finishing it off with two straight aces in the drizzle.
But the light rain stopped at the start of the second, with Edmund breaking for 4-3 and closing it with a service winner.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.
Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.