Cameron Norrie (33/1 – Wimbledon 2022 Outright) and Dan Evans both won their singles matches in Saturday’s Davis Cup tie against France in Innsbruck to ensure Team GB got off to a winning start in Group C.
Evans was put into battle in the first singles rubber of the day and he produced a gritty, determined performance to overcome Adrian Mannarino 7-5 6-4, giving GB the early advantage in the tie.
Speaking to Eurosport after the match, the 31-year-old said: “It’s great to play for my country and get a point on the board. There’s only a few better number ones in the world and I wanted to set it up for Cam.
“All the pressure is on the other guy to get it to one-all and that was my job.”
World number 12 Norrie was up next for GB, facing off against Arthur Rinderknech, and the Brit breezed through the first set 6-2 before his French opponent put up more of a fight in the second.
Requiring a tie-break, Norrie managed to win 10-8 to take the match and give Great Britain an unassailable 2-0 lead heading into the final rubber, which was the doubles clash that Nicolas Mahut/Rinderknech won 6-1 6-4 against Neal Skupski/Joe Salisbury.
Speaking after the win, Norrie said: “It was a difficult match especially with a lot on the line. He came up with some great volleys on the tie-break there. The team behind me were great especially with no fans here, it wasn’t easy.
“It was a tough game early on and I found a lot of confidence – he went through a little patch where he missed a lot and I took advantage of that. All credit to the guy to make it to the tie break and I was fortunate to sneak through there.”
GB will take on the Czech Republic next in their second and final Group C clash, with the top team qualifying for the quarter-finals of the self-styled “World Cup of Tennis”. GB will be guaranteed qualification as group winners if they beat the Czech Republic on Sunday morning.
There are a total of 18 nations taking part in the Davis Cup and, along with the six group winners, the two best second-placed teams will also progress into the last-eight stage.