London: Andy Murray kept Great Britain in the hunt for their first Davis Cup semi-final place in 34 years as he defeated France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to level the last eight tie at 1-1 on Friday.
Murray was under pressure to win the second singles rubber of the day on the grass courts of Queen’s Club in west London after Gilles Simon had given France the perfect start with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 rout of James Ward.
Andy Murray falls over in his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday
The World No 3 rose to the challenge with a hard-fought victory that left the quarter-final delicately poised heading into the doubles on Saturday, raising the possibility that Murray might be drafted in to play alongside his brother Jamie instead of Dominic Inglot.
With the prize of a Last-Four showdown against Australia or Kazakhstan up for grabs, Murray’s 22nd win from 24 Davis Cup singles matches ensured the tie won’t be decided until tomorrow’s reverse singles.
The hosts needed Murray at his best and after struggling with his footing in the early stages, Murray changed shoes and gradually put Tsonga under the cosh.
Nine-time winners France, who were runners-up last year, are in the quarter-finals for a sixth successive season. Britain haven’t beaten France in the Davis Cup since 1978.