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Davis Cup - GB v Croatia
Wimbledon, 21-23 September 2007



By Elizabeth Hudson

Tim Henman
Henman and Murray had to work hard before clinching victory
Davis Cup, World Group play-off
Date: 21-23 Sept
Venue: Court One, Wimbledon
Watch: BBCi, BBC Sport website
Listen: Updates on BBC Radio 5live
Updates: BBC Sport website and mobile

Tim Henman brought the curtain down on his professional career by partnering Jamie Murray to victory over Croatia in their Davis Cup doubles match.

After Friday's two singles wins, it gave GB an unassailable 3-0 lead and a place back in the elite World Group.

The British pair came from a set down to beat Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko 4-6 6-4 7-6 7-5.

"It's occasions like this and fans like this that I will miss so much," Henman told BBC Sport.

"I knew how important this match was for the team, not just me. I've had a few good scripts over the year but this is right up there - hitting the winner to seal the Davis Cup victory is brilliant."

In front of an enthusiastic Court One crowd, the first nine games of the match went with serve but doubles specialist Murray struggled on his serve and was broken in the 10th game.

Cilic and Zovko earned themselves two break points thanks to some hard work and Cilic sent a superb lob into the open court to give Croatia the opening set.

The second set followed a similar pattern and Murray had to save two break points on his next service game but the game turned Great Britain's way with a lucky net cord and a double fault on the Cilic serve.

It allowed Henman to put away a volley to give GB a 4-3 lead and three games later Henman was given a chance to serve out for the set and he made no mistake to level the match.

The Croatians lifted their game in the third set and some great returns and quick hands again put the pressure on the Murray serve and the Scot was broken as Croatia went 4-2 ahead.

606: DEBATE

But Murray made amends in the next game with a game-winning volley as he and Henman broke back straight away on the Zovko serve and then Henman held to make it 4-4.

Neither pair were able to break again and in the resulting tie-break Henman and Murray went 3-0 ahead early on and dominated after that to take it 7-3 and go two sets to one ahead.

The fourth set proved typically tight with both Henman and Murray having to save break points on their own serves early on.

But Great Britain found another gear and Murray held comfortably to go 6-5 up and cheered on by the crowd, they put the pressure on the Cilic serve and it was only right that Henman sealed the victory with a cross-court forehand winner to bid farewell to the sport.

Murray was relieved to have played his part in giving Henman the perfect send-off.

"Croatia played well and both served big. We stuck with it and we got through so World Group, here we come," he said.

Murray hailed Henman as an "inspiration", saying: "It was an absolute honour to be on the court with him and I'm sad to see him go.

"For me, Andy and Jamie Baker, growing up, he was our role model and inspiration. We're not at his level yet but we'll keep working towards it."


Friday
Andy Murray bt Marin Cilic GB 1-0 Croatia
Tim Henman bt Roko Karanusic
GB 2-0 Croatia

Saturday
Tim Henman & Jamie Murray bt Marin Cilic & Lovro Zovko GB 3-0 Croatia

Sunday (1100)
Andy Murray v Roko Karanusic
Followed by: Jamie Baker v Marin Cilic



SEE ALSO
Youngsters lack desire - Henman
17 Sep 07 |  Tennis


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