Davis Cup 2023: Great Britain qualify for Final 8 in Malaga
“It was bonkers. I’m not sure what I’ve just sat through for nine hours” Leon Smith, Lexus Great Britain Davis Cup Captain, said.
“I’m not sure if this is our ninth hour or so of playing but it’s tough to keep going all the time and everybody here did a good job. They needed a bit of help and that’s normal.
"Thank you everyone, thank you Manchester and thank you LTA for putting it on."
Speaking on the squad that led Great Britain to victory in Manchester, Smith added, “They’re amazing. We get on incredibly well, everyone’s played a part which is important. All you can do is give your best effort - that’s all you can ask for.”
Dan Evans kicked off Sunday’s proceedings with an impressive comeback win against 19-year-old Arthur Fils in the opening singles rubber of the day. The British No.2 played a vital part all of Great Britain’s victories, after he beat world No.13 Alex de Minaur in his singles match against Australia before joining forces with Neal Skupski to take down Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker in the deciding doubles rubber against Switzerland.
Following his 7-5, 6-4 defeat to Wawrinka on Friday night, British No.1 Cam Norrie looked to bounce back against world No.36 Ugo Humbert. After finding his form to take the second set, Norrie looked as though he would force a final set tie-break but a double fault on his serve saw the rubber fall in the favour of France to level up the tie to 1-1.
With everything to play for and a spot in the Final 8 on the line, it was down to Evans and Skupski to battle one last time in their deciding doubles rubber against Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. A nail-biting three-set thriller saw the British duo push the French pair to their limits - eventually prevailing in the third set tie-break to clinch a 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6) win and send a packed-out home crowd into an eruption of cheers.
Great Britain will now go on to compete for the 2023 Davis Cup title in Malaga between 21-26 November.
They will face either Italy or Serbia as the runners-up in Groups A and C, with the draw taking place next week.