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Lawn Tennis: Murray digs in deep to triumph.

Byline: BY BILL PIERCE

ANDY MURRAY had to dig deep to avoid the most embarrassing defeat of his career and rescue Britain's Davis Cup dignity with a perfect answer to the critics who say his lack of top physical condition could damage ambitions of greatness.

The new great hope of British tennis, who has climbed to 35 in the world rankings at just 19 but whose pure talent has been so often marred by a lack of stamina and a suspect temperament, was two sets down to Israel's Andy Ram - an opponent ranked 662 on the ATP computer - on the Devonshire Park grass before battling back to win only his third five-set match.

Murray had seen team-mate Alex Bo gdanovic, deputising for injured Greg Rusedski, battered in straight sets by Israel's number one player, Noam Okun, to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

And the young Scot looked so out of sorts and at odds with the world in the first two sets against doubles specialist Ram that it seemed inevitable Britain would go into the second day 2-0 down.

But Murray came alive after taking the second of his first two break points as a lever to win the third set against Ram.

And from that moment on his 2-6 4-6 7-5 6-2 6-3 triumph was never in doubt, which he confirmed with an array of sparkling winners.

Murray said: "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 think I have answered a few questions from people who said I gave up in the same position against Baghdatis at Wimbledon."

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Andy Murray
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 22, 2006
Words:286
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