Battle of the Brits: Andy Murray & Naomi Broady set up winner-takes-all finale

, Battle of the Brits: Andy Murray & Naomi Broady set up winner-takes-all finale
Andy Murray and Naomi Broady linked up for the first time this week for the Union Jacks

Andy Murray and Naomi Broady set up a winner-takes-all finale in the Battle of the Brits after beating Kyle Edmund and Emma Raducanu in the penultimate match of the week-long tournament.

Union Jacks pair Murray and Broady won 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to stop the British Bulldogs sealing victory in Roehampton.

Bulldogs now lead 58-56 going into the final match of the first-to-60 event.

Jacks’ Jamie Murray and Heather Watson take on Bulldogs’ Joe Salisbury and Harriet Dart for the final five points.

The Bulldogs closed in on victory after singles wins for Maia Lumsden, Raducanu, Liam Broady, Edmund and Harriet Dart, before Heather Watson and Dan Evans kept the Jacks in touch.

Seven-time Grand Slam doubles champion Jamie Murray set up the week-long event to provide competitive action for British players while the professional tours remain suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The country’s leading men and women have played together in singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches in the unique team event.

“Events like this are perfect not just for the tour players but the younger players to get ready and get back out there,” said British men’s number one Evans.

“Without these events none of us would be in such a good position and hopefully there should be some British success when we get back.”

How are the Brits shaping up for the professional restart?

With the ATP and WTA Tours suspended since March and resuming this month, the Battle of the Brits allowed the players to build up fitness and sharpness in a competitive environment.

Former world number one Andy Murray only played in the doubles as he continued to build up his fitness after struggling with pelvic and shin injuries this year.

The 33-year-old Scot is planning to play the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open, which are being held in a two-tournament safety bubble in New York when the ATP Tour on 22 August.

Britain’s leading women’s players, Konta and Watson, are also planning to return to the professional tour in the States at the WTA tournament in Lexington next week.

Konta, ranked 14th in the world, had not played since the tour was suspended in March and, after losing her opening match to Jodie Burrage, improved as the week wore on at the National Tennis Centre.

But the 29-year-old, who has been managing a knee tendon problem this year, did not play at all on Sunday.

Watson, 28, maintained her 100% winning record in the singles by beating Beth Grey for a fifth victory.

“As the week has gone on I’ve started to play better and better every day,” said the world number 50.

Evans says his game is in a “good spot” before the restart of the ATP Tour, while British men’s number two Edmund says he is raring to return to professional action after winning his fourth singles matches in a row.

Sunday’s results

Union Jacks: 56-58 British Bulldogs (first to 60)

(Matches show Union Jacks players first)

Centre court:

Anton Matusevich 6-3 6-2 Alastair Gray (2pts)

Naomi Broady 3-6 3-6 Emma Raducanu (2pts)

Jan Choinski 2-6 1-6 Kyle Edmund (3pts)

Jodie Burrage 4-6 6-7 (5-7) Harriet Dart (3pts)

Andy Murray/Naomi Broady 6-37-6 (7-5) Kyle Edmund/Emma Raducanu (4pts)

Jamie Murray/Heather Watson v Joe Salisbury/Harriet Dart (5pts)

Court one:

Alicia Barnett 3-6 3-6 Maia Lumsden (3pts)

Ryan Peniston 6-7 6-3 10-12 Liam Broady (2pts)

Heather Watson 6-0 6-2 Beth Grey (2pts)

Dan Evans 7-5 6-2 Aidan McHugh (3pts)

BBC News