Andy Murray beats Kei Nishikori in five-set epic to send Britain into last eight
Andy Murray beat Kei Nishikori in a gruelling five-set thriller to send Great Britain into the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup.
With the home side leading 2-1 after the doubles success of the Murray brothers on Saturday, the world No 2 seemed to have his second singles in the bag after taking a two-set lead.
But the Japan No 1, hit back to level the match by taking the next two sets.
Murray, who was clearly fatigued after two straight days of playing and a weeks out of the game following the birth of his first child, managed to dig deep after falling a break behind in the final set and pull off an astonishing 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 4-6 6-3 win.
It meant that Dan Evans did not have to face Taro Daniel in the final rubber as Britain had an unassailable 3-1 lead. Britain will now face Serbia – led by world No 1 Novak Djokovic – in the last eight in July.
'I was struggling physically'
"The crowd helped for sure," said Murray. "Physically I was struggling a little bit at the end of the third set and through the fourth.
"He was pushing me quite a long way off the baseline. I was getting a little bit frustrated and panicking. I didn't know how I wanted to play the points.
"But in the fifth set I was a little bit calmer. I got pumped up at the end, got a lot of positive energy, and that was enough today.
"Last year was incredible every time I played in the Davis Cup. This team did something special and I would like to do the same again this year.
"Obviously the next match will be extremely tough and if we stick together and fight we have a chance."
'Man of Steel'
Captain Leon Smith reserved special praise for his No 1 player. "I am lost for words at this stage; he is a man of steel, isn't he?" he said.
"What Andy managed to do was astonishing since he hasn't played since the Australian Open final."