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Davis Cup: Andy and Jamie Murray put Britain in control against Japan

The Murray brothers secured a comfortable win over Japanese pair Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama in Birmingham, Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for LTA

BIRMINGHAM -- Great Britain are 2-1 up against Japan and the Barclaycard Arena was left singing that it was "walking in a Murray wonderland".

Leon Smith said he wanted his "strongest team" for Saturday's vital doubles rubber and this was it; there was no way Andy Murray was going to sit this one out.

Murray teamed with brother Jamie, the Australian Open doubles champion, to secure a comfortable 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Japanese pair Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama.

"We played a great match from start to finish," said Jamie. "I loved being out here with Andy again, it was great."

The Murray brothers' partnership was as instinctive as ever, as imperious as that which propelled Britain towards its first Davis Cup title for 79 years last November with vital doubles wins against France, Australia and Belgium.

"We know each others' games extremely well, and that helps," said Andy, who is now on a 13-match winning streak in singles and doubles rubbers in this competition.

"When the ball is in a certain place in the court I know the shot he will pick, and vice-versa. My strengths and his strengths make a good team. Both of us served very well today.

"Jamie is one of the best net players in the world, singles or doubles. He's fantastic up there. That helps a lot in doubles, and when I can hit a few returns, together we play some good tennis."

Smith is of the same opinion: "They trust each other implicitly."

You can tell how much this competition means to the world's second-highest ranked singles player. Andy Murray is relishing his continued responsibility as Great Britain's Davis Cup talisman as they bid to defend their title and set the tone with two fizzing aces to start the match.

Nearly two hours later and he finished it with another.

Japan opted to leave out Kei Nishikori, presumably in a bid to rest him ahead of what is now a make-or-break singles tie against Andy first up on Sunday.

"My coach thought they were going to do it [play Nishikori] but it didn't happen," added Jamie. "Kei played a long match with Dan [Evans on Friday] and I don't think he's played that much doubles for Japan. I thought they would stick as they did and it worked out for us."

There had been fears that Smith may take the same route with his star player. Andy admitted during his singles win over Taro Daniel on Friday that at times he was "a little out of breath" after five weeks away, following the birth of daughter Sophia.

He took part in doubles practice on Saturday morning for just the second time this week, too, but certainly didn't look undercooked.

A tight first set stayed on serve until Japan unravelled in the seventh game, the Murray brothers earning back-to-back breaks to close it out.

The brothers gave their always-reliably raucous home support even more to shout about at the start of the second set. Britain carved out an immediate break, and another put them 5-2 ahead before Jamie served it out for a two-set lead.

Nishioka and Uchiyama put up sterner resistance in the third set but it was again Britain who got the decisive break in the ninth game, before Andy served it out to love.

Andy's inclusion meant that, once again, doubles specialist Dom Inglot had to step aside.

"It's always a difficult decision for someone like Dom, it's tough to keep having those conversations, 'Look, we're going to go with Andy'," said Smith. "But he gets it, I'm sure his time will come in the future. But he's been absolutely brilliant helping with the preparation."