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Last Updated: Friday, 21 July 2006, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Murray fights back to level tie
Andy Murray
Murray staged a superb recovery as the game went on
Andy Murray came back from two sets down to defeat Israel's Andy Ram and draw Great Britain level in their Davis Cup relegation tie.

Britain's number four Alex Bogdanovic had earlier lost 6-4 7-5 6-2 to Israel's top-ranked player Noam Okun.

And the day looked like turning into a disaster when Murray fell two sets down to Ram, ranked 662 in the world.

But something finally clicked for Murray in the third set and he turned it around to win 2-6 4-6 7-5 6-2 6-3.

"I played a really bad first set," Murray told BBC Sport after recovering from two sets down to win a match for the first time in his career.

"It was mentally quite difficult to come back from two sets down when you are expected to comfortably beat a player who is predominately a doubles player.

"But I did that very well and think I have answered a few questions from people who said I gave up in the same position against Baghdatis at Wimbledon.

"It's a pretty big victory, not in terms of quality of play perhaps, but in terms of coming back from the position I was in which I've never done before."

Murray also thanked the crowd and he needed all the support he could get after losing the first two sets, all the while complaining about the noise from the courtside photographers' cameras and the slippery baseline.

I want to play the second match (against Ram) and I'm ready for it

Alex Bogdanovic

It took him until 6-5 in the third set to earn his first break points of the match, but once he had taken the second of those to get back into the match, the momentum shifted dramatically.

The 19-year-old began to look like a player ranked 627 places higher than his opponent and ran out an easy winner against a tiring Ram.

With Ram needed treatment for fatigue in the fifth set, Israel will be hoping their star doubles player will recover in time to lead their effort in Saturday's potentially crucial doubles rubber.

Murray will team up with Jamie Delgado in that match, and it remains to be seen whether Bogadanovic will play again in this tie.

The 22-year-old, ranked 148 in the world, fought back from 5-1 down in the first set to 5-4 before Okun served out, and dug deep to push him hard in the second before being shaken off.

The dispirited Briton then capitulated in the third as Israel went 1-0 up.

"It was a tough match and obviously not my best performance," said Bogdanovic.

"I was mentally nervous at the start and lost my serve but I got a break back and gave it my best shot.

"But he played better than in Tel Aviv and deserved to win.

"Davis Cup tennis is different than when you are just playing for yourself which doesn't seem to matter so much.

"But I want to play the second match (against Ram) and I'm ready for it."

Alex Bogdanovic
Bogdanovic crumbled in the third set

A jubilant Okun told BBC Sport: "That was probably one of my best matches on grass and it's a great start for us.

"I started very well and I didn't let him breathe during the match. I was almost flawless."

Bogdanovic, ranked 122 places higher than Okun in the world rankings, started nervously but finally hit his stride at 1-5 in the first set.

Hitting his groundstrokes, in particular his backhand, with more authority, the 22-year-old fought back to 5-4.

However, the turning point came when he had a point to draw level at 5-5 but hit a timid return which allowed Okun to take control of the point.

Okun went on to clinch the set and though Bogdanovic matched the Israeli in the second set, he threw in a woeful service game at 5-5 to put his opponent in a commanding position.

Bogdanovic hardly put up a fight in the third set and Great Britain captain Jeremy Bates must now be questioning whether the British number four is the best choice to play a deciding fifth rubber on Sunday.

SEE ALSO
Gamewatch: Murray v Ram
21 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Gamewatch: Bogdanovic v Okun
21 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Davis Cup photos
21 Jul 06 |  Tennis


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