•   Tuesday, 28 Mar, 2023

England beats Scotland 1-1! Andy Murray puts in a lot of effort to defeat Jack Draper, a rising star, and raise the level of the Battle of the Brits event. The former world No. 1 called it "important" preparation for the Australian Open next month.

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He gave a pulsating performance in front of Jack Draper, the young player who might one day play like him, to even the Scotland-England challenge match at 1-1 and get the crowd on its feet.

Neither individual was playing it for laughs, and they combined to produce a high quality spectacle that saw the veteran emerge a 6-2, 1-6, 12-10 winner at a packed P&J Arena.

Murray was delighted afterwards with a win against one of the tour's top young prospects that came after three weeks of hard training in Florida with mentor Ivan Lendl.

There may not be too many more opportunities for him to play in front of a Scottish crowd, and he clearly does not want to waste them.

'I've been working as hard as I have done in the long time,' he said. 'Jack's playing at top 20 or 25 level so it was a great test for me. He's going to be at the top of the game.

The intensity that you play these matches at in comparison to practice are a level up so this was a great step for me and a gauge of where I'm at

These few days are an important part of my preparation. And that's why I wanted to make sure I'm right on it from the beginning. 

'I was disappointed with how I played in the second set and I didn't serve well for the last 45 minutes.'

Draper had brought his full, exciting southpaw repertoire to the second set in which he swept Murray, nearly 15 years his senior, away with a flourish.   

The tiebreak drove the crowd of nearly 7,000 to a frenzy, and it was topped off when the twice Wimbledon champion clinched it with a stunning forehand pass.

England captain Ian Holloway was enraptured and, sensing the seriousness of the encounter, the well-travelled football manager reined in his earlier crowd-pleasing antics.