Murray sends Britain into 1st Davis Cup final in 37 years

Associated Press

GLASGOW, Scotland — Andy Murray sent Britain into its first Davis Cup final in 37 years on Sunday, securing victory over Australia with a straight-set win over Bernard Tomic.

Despite struggling with a back injury and coming off a five-set doubles match on Saturday, Murray managed to find another peak performance to beat Tomic 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.

That, coupled with Murray’s win over Thanasi Kokkinakis on Friday and his doubles triumph with brother Jamie, gave Leon Smith’s team an unassailable lead. Kokkinakis later beat Dan Evans 7-5, 6-4 in the meaningless fifth match to make the final score 3-2.

Belgium awaits Britain in the Nov. 27-29 final after beating Argentina by the same score in the other semifinal.

Now Murray has barely two months to ensure he is fully fit to help Britain win the Davis Cup for the first time since 1936.

“My back has been giving me a lot of trouble this week,” the third-ranked Murray said. “It’s nothing to do with the previous issues I had with my back, it’s a completely different thing.

“My back was absolutely fine during the U.S. Open, then I took five days off, started practicing again on Sunday here … and then on Tuesday night my back was extremely sore and got progressively worse the next couple of days.”

But just as he was during Friday’s demolition of Kokkinakis, Murray was in top form as he treated about 8,000 fans at the Emirates Arena to an outstanding array of shots.

The Scotsman has now helped the British to their last seven Davis Cup points – along with Jamie Murray – to see off the United States, France and now Australia.

Murray had endured four hours on court alongside his brother before seeing off Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth in Saturday’s doubles, but he could not have started any better as he launched two aces on his first three points.

Murray only lost one point in his first two service games and broke in Tomic’s second, winning his third break point when a deep, high shot put the Australian on the back foot before he sent a backhand into the net.

It was not entirely plain sailing. Murray was broken as he served for the set to hand his 23rd-ranked opponent a way back, but set up three break points in the next game and finished Tomic off with a deft backhand drop shot.

Murray broke again in the fourth game of the second set as his opponent sent a backhand into the net, and Britain’s top-ranked player went on to serve out the set at love.

In the third, he broke twice and wrapped up the victory when his opponent sent a return wide.

Britain’s last final appearance was in 1978.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”