Ghent (Belgium): Andy Murray pulled Britain level 1-1 with Belgium in the Davis Cup final in Ghent on Friday by defeating Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-2, 7-5.
The Belgians had moved ahead earlier in the opener, David Goffin battling back from two sets down to defeat British newcomer Kyle Edmund 3-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-0.
World number two Murray, with a perfect 8-0 win/loss record so far this year in the Davis Cup, was seen as a strong favourite and he had little difficulty in seeing off the challenge of Bemelmans, a player ranked outside the top 100.
Two breaks of serve was enough for the 28-year-old Murray to pocket the first set against Bemelmans, and he broke again at the start of the second to stamp his authority on the rubber.
The Belgian tried to unsettle Murray with a succession of drop shots and net charges, but the world number two was rock solid as he moved two sets clear.
The third set was closer with Bemelmans just trying to keep Murray out on court and frustrated as long as possible.
Murray was docked a point for swearing as the Belgian journeyman held and then broke to get to 4-2 to the crowd’s delight.
But he gave that back right away and Murray levelled at 4-4.
The Scot had to save a set point two games later, enraging the Belgian fans with his bellowing celebration, but he then blasted his way through the two final games of the contest.
Murray is set to join up with older brother Jamie for a potentially decisive doubles on Saturday before taking on Goffin in a battle of the two number ones in the first of the reverse singles on Sunday.
Britain are seeking a first Davis Cup title since 1936 and a 10th overall, while Belgium have never won the competition in its 115-year history.