More Murray heroics as Britain beat Japan
His return after a month's parenting was not flawless and there was the odd gesticulation towards the bench during his 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 win over poor Taro Daniel in the opening match of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Japan here in Birmingham, but generally Murray resembled nothing more threatening than a mildly perturbed vicar.
None of the previous ones had been as tough as this as world number six Nishikori, the highest-ranked player Murray had ever faced in the competition, simply refused to lie down. "I haven't played for a long time".
Japan have a chance to level the World Group first round tie with Kei Nishikori, the world number six, up against local favourite Dan Evans who is 174th in the rankings.
Nishikori, with his quick hands and quick feet, is a major talent and one of the very best strikers of a ball in the world.
"What Andy managed to do was astonishing since he hasn't played since the Australian Open final". Today are the final two reverse singles matches.
FAMILIARITY breeds success as far as Britain's Davis Cup team are concerned and relying on the tried and tested formula looks like paying dividends in the first step of their title defence.
Nishikori was pressed hard by GB's second singles man, Dan Evans, but had finished the business in three sets.
"The last few weeks have been the best of my life, really special".
Andy Murray is now expected to face Kei Nishikori in an antipicated reverse singles rubber on Sunday. that may well decide the tie.
The Brit did very well to fend off the relentless force that is Nishikori, saving multiple break points to hold serve to level the set at two games all.
A brief revival at the end of the fourth came to nothing and he was in deep trouble when he dropped serve again at the start of the fifth.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet defeated Vasek Pospisil and Philip Bester 7-6 (7/4), 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) for the winning point as France marked captain Yannick Noah's first match of his second spell in charge with victory.
It took the Aussie nine tries to finally break the Bryans, with the success coming in the seventh game of the third set.
"I played well against him a year ago", Murray said on court.
(CNN)Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had to survive marathon five-set encounters to lead their countries into a Davis Cup quarterfinal match up Sunday. "There were nerves even during the knock-up, and first serve which has appeared so solid this weekend went missing early on - so disgusted was he by it that the Scot bellowed 'b***** off" after one errant delivery into the net - and a balloon which burst mid-point didn't help.
The 23-year-old, whose father hails from California, is a big fan of Led Zeppelin and prompted laughter when he said he would like his entrance music to be their song Dazed and Confused. Andy was then able to serve out the match. It was the second notable cup win for Golubev and Nedovyesov, who beat Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in doubles in 2014.