MADRID — Andy Murray made a successful return to the Davis Cup on Wednesday, rallying to beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7), 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Murray trailed 4-1 in the third set and 4-1 in the decisive tiebreaker, but came back both times to give Britain a 1-0 lead over the Netherlands in Group E of the Davis Cup Finals.
Murray had not played in the Davis Cup since 2016, when Britain lost to Argentina in the semifinals. In October, the three-time Grand Slam champion won his first title since undergoing hip surgery in January.
Daniel Evans will face Robin Haase in the second singles match.
In the revamped Davis Cup format, teams play two singles and a doubles match, with the group winners advancing to the knockout stage along with the two best second-place finishers in the six groups.
The Netherlands lost to Kazakhstan 2-1 in on Tuesday.
While Murray struggled to beat the 179th-ranked Griekspoor, Novak Djokovic cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over 73rd-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka, giving Serbia a 2-0 victory over Japan in Group A.
It was the 13th straight Davis Cup singles victory for Djokovic, who broke Nishioka’s serve three times in the first set and twice in the second at the Caja Magica.
Filip Krajinovic had defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-2, 6-4 in the first match.
Japan, which lost to top-ranked France 2-1 on Tuesday, has no chance of advancing to the knockout stage.
Argentina routed Chile 3-0 on Tuesday but trailed Germany 1-0 on Wednesday after Philipp Kohlschreiber rebounded from a slow start to beat Guido Pella 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Diego Schwartzman will try to keep Argentina alive against Jan-Lennard Struff in the second singles match.