Fabio Fognini beats Andy Murray to force decider

07 April 2014 BBC Online


Italy's Fabio Fognini played superbly to beat Andy Murray and take the Davis Cup quarter-final against Great Britain to a decisive fifth rubber.
Fognini, the world number 13, won 6-3 6-3 6-4 on the Naples clay to level the tie at 2-2, with Andreas Seppi to face James Ward in the final singles match.
The winners of the tie will face Switzerland or Kazakhstan in September's semi-finals.
Britain are trying to reach the last four for the first time since 1981.
The visitors' best hope of achieving that appeared to rest with Murray in the fourth singles rubber, but the Wimbledon champion was no match for Fognini on a clay court.
Fognini, 26, was expected to provide a serious test after a year that has seen him win three titles on the surface and rise to a career-high ranking.
Murray looked the more solid in the opening stages, breaking straight away after a wayward Fognini forehand, but at 3-1 down the Italian was riled by the chanting of the British supporters, and it fired him up.
After complaining to the umpire and throwing his water bottle in anger, Fognini broke back to love and roared through five straight games to take the set.
Murray looked shell-shocked, double-faulting to lose serve for the second time and clearly unhappy with the crowd noise between serves. He was hanging on early in the second set as Fognini continued to play inspired tennis but the Briton saved two break points at 1-1, and had a chance to work his way back into the contest in game six.
Two backhands into the net on break points proved costly for Murray, however, and when he sent a backhand long to drop serve in the following game he faced a daunting task.
With a two-set lead and the vocal Neapolitan crowd behind him, Fognini kept up the pressure in the third and earned match points with the first break points of the set at 0-40 in game 10.
Murray fended off the first two but dumped a forehand in the net on the third, and a victorious Fognini cupped his hand to his ear in celebration.
"Today I just played better than Andy," Fognini told BBC Sport. "We know this sport really is difficult and Andy played a lot yesterday. I just focused on my game and tried and do my best.

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