Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

Andy Murray Davis Cup

Great Britain’s Andy Murray celebrates beating Switzerland’s Leandro Riedi during the Davis Cup group stage match at the AO Arena, in Manchester, England, Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

MANCHESTER, England — Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray wept Friday after revealing he missed his grandmother’s funeral to play in the Davis Cup Finals.

Murray came from behind to beat Leandro Riedi 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-4 and give Britain a winning start in its 2-1 victory over Switzerland in the group stage of the finals on Friday.

The Scottish player needed more than 3 hours to beat Riedi and was overcome by emotion toward the end of his subsequent on-court interview.

“Today is a tough day for me. It’s my gran’s funeral today,” Murray said. “I’m sorry to my family that I’m not able to be there but, gran, this one’s for you.”

Murray then returned to his bench and wept under his towel as he was applauded by the Manchester spectators.

The 36-year-old Murray later said he spoke to his father about whether he should play or not, “and he said that she’d want you to play. He just said ‘Make sure you win,’ so I did.”

Stan Wawrinka defeated Cameron Norrie 7-5, 6-4 to level the tie, but Dan Evans and Neal Skupski beat Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker 6-3, 6-3 in their doubles match to seal Britain’s win in Group B.

Britain opened with a 2-1 win over Australia and is well placed to reach the Final 8 in the southern Spanish city of Malaga in November.

Australia and France have one win and one loss each, while the Swiss are winless. The top two in each of the four groups advance.

Novak Djokovic sealed Serbia’s place in the Final 8 with a 6-3, 6-4 win in Group C over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain, which was eliminated.

Laslo Djere had earlier won his match in Valencia, while Nikola Cacic and Miomir Kecmanovic won the doubles to give Serbia a 3-0 win and set up a showdown with the Czech Republic to see who tops the group. Both countries are through with two wins each.

Defending champion Canada in Group A in Bologna, and the Netherlands in Group D in Split, Croatia, have both won their opening two matches.

Also Friday, Italy swept Chile 3-0 in Group A, and Finland beat Croatia 2-1 in Group D.

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By Dave Jenks

Dave Jenks is an American novelist and Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Between those careers, he’s worked as a deckhand, commercial fisherman, divemaster, taxi driver, construction manager, and over the road truck driver, among many other things. He now lives on a sea island, in the South Carolina Lowcountry, with his wife and youngest daughter. They also have three grown children, five grand children, three dogs and a whole flock of parakeets. Stinnett grew up in Melbourne, Florida and has also lived in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico. His next dream is to one day visit and dive Cuba.