Andy Murray admitted he never thought he would win the Davis Cup after netting Great Britain its first title in 79 years.
Murray beat world number 16 David Goffin in straight sets in Ghent to ensure Great Britain lifted the trophy with a match to spare against hosts Belgium.
It’s the first time Great Britain have lifted the Davis Cup since 1936, when they were led by Fred Perry and Bunny Austin.
An emotional Murray broke down in tears after his expertly-struck, backhand lob looped over Goffin to make it 6-3 7-5 6-3 on the day and 3-1 in the Davis Cup final.
Murray said: “It feels amazing. I never thought we would have the opportunity to do this and I can’t believe we have.
“It has been an unbelievably tough year and won some incredibly tough matches and everyone who has played has played at an unbelievably high standard.
“I can’t believe we did it.”
“I will try to keep the celebrations under control but I’m sure everyone will be on fire tonight,” the reigning Olympic champion added.
“It has been an unbelievable road to get here and we have to enjoy this because we might not get another opportunity to do this as a team so we should celebrate this tonight.”
Murray’s victory rounded off a remarkable year in the competition as he won all 11 of his singles and doubles matches, which were also all live rubbers.
The world number two had already beaten Ruben Bemelmans in Friday’s singles – following Kyle Edmund’s gutsy five-set defeat to Goffin – and claimed another point yesterday in the doubles with his brother Jamie.
Murray was under pressure in the first set when he faced a break point with the score 2-2.
But he responded superbly and went on to make it 5-2 and then 6-3 to claim the first set.
The second set went with serve until the 11th game when Murray broke to make it 6-5 and held his nerve to give him a healthy advantage.
Goffin’s hopes were boosted when he broke Murray’s first service game of the third set to make it 2-0 but the 2013 Wimbledon champion responded immediately and levelled.
Murray was now on a roll and after breaking Goffin to love at 5-3, the 28-year-old won the title with his second match point with an exquisite backhand lob.
“It is amazing. It is as good a feeling as I could possibly imagine,” said Leon Smith, Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain.
“Andy has shown himself to be an absolute superstar again. I’m sure he will be the first to say it is a team thing but what he has put himself through this year in particular has been astonishing.
“Yet again in a brutal match – even though it was straight sets it was tough going – and he rose to the occasion on the big points.
“I am so proud of him and I am so proud of everybody.
“There are a lot of people who don’t get a lot of credit. The players are out there and I get to sit on that great chair behind them but it is everyone behind the scenes who works their socks off – from the medical team to the other coaches and the stringer, who has stringed, I don’t know, about 350 rackets this year alone just on the team.
“Everyone has played a part and it is really great.”
Image courtesy of Australian Open TV via YouTube, with thanks