Dan Evans & Neal Skupski save four match points to send Great Britain to Davis Cup Final 8
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Get the latest match results and updates from Great Britain vs France in the Davis Cup Finals Group Stages at Manchester's AO Arena.
Result: Great Britain 2-1 France
- Dan Evans (GBR) won vs Arthur Fils (FRA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
- Cam Norrie (GBR) lost vs Ugo Humbert (FRA) 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-5
- Dan Evans & Neal Skupski (GBR) won vs Nicolas Mahut & Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 1-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(6)
Great Britain are through to the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga thanks to an incredible 2-1 win over France to keep their unbeaten run in Group B.
They will face either Italy or Serbia as the runners-up in Groups A and C, with the draw taking place next week.
Read the full match report from each match below:
Match three: Evans & Skupski come through in an all-time GB classic
The win puts Great Britain through to the Davis Cup Final 8 in Malaga in November this year.
Despite a shaky start from Mahut on serve, the French completely dominated the first set. The experienced duo commanded the net and picked off return after return against the Brits. They won the last five consecutive games to move one set away from victory.
After a nervy opening set, Evans and Skupski quickly settled into the second. While they still couldn’t find the breakthrough on the French team’s serve, it was back to business as usual on theirs – winning 23 of 25 points on first serve.
Evans and Skupski found the extra level in the tie-break. A pair of winners from the former world No.1 put the Brits 6-3 to the good and as Roger-Vasselin’s forehand sailed long, Evans and Skupski bounced off to the bench, celebrating with the crowd.
It looked like the Brits chance had come and gone having squandered three break points at 2-2, before facing 5-4, 0-40 on Evans’ serve. However, Evans and Skupski were making a habit of coming out on top in the big moments – saving four match points to force another tie-break.
With the match on the line at 6-6 in the breaker – Roger-Vasselin shanked his approaching volley well beyond the baseline to set up the Brits second match point. With the match on the line, Skupski found an unreturnable first serve to put Great Britain through to Malaga.
Match two: Humbert edges Norrie at the death to force decider
Ugo Humbert levelled the scores for France – coming through with a 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-5 win over Cam Norrie in two hours and 46 minutes to send the match to a doubles decider.
After the thrills and spills of the first match of the day, Norrie and Humbert’s contest looked set to become far more of a chess match right from the off. With just one break point between them in a tight opening set, the pair stayed on serve through to a tie-break.
As the error count continued to rise to just shy of 50 between the two – Humbert held his nerve in the bigger moments. Norrie battled back from 6-2 down to 6-5 in the tie-break, but another wayward backhand into tramlines gave Humbert the early set lead.
The British No.1 had the bit between his teeth at the start of the second. Early signs indicated a change in fortune for Norrie as a couple of poor backhand errors from the Frenchman gave him the initial break, before eventually taking a 3-0 lead and seeing off three break points to win the set.
A battle of fine margins came right down to the wire. With the pressure of the tie weighing on both their shoulders, both players missing chances to break. Humbert got the hold at 5-5, giving Norrie the task of serving to send it to a deciding tie-break, but in the end it proved one game too far for the Brit. Two groundstrokes fired long, accompanied by a double fault on match point, sealed a crucial victory for France.
Match one: Evans claims statement win to put Brits in front
Dan Evans produced an incredible performance in the opening match of the tie to come back from a set and a break down to beat 19-year-old French starlet 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and three minutes.
"There’s something about the Davis Cup," he said. "It’s never just simple. It’s an amazing crowd, there’s so many here so thank you – you really helped me through."
The win gives the Brits a one match lead in a must-win tie if they are to reach the Davis Cup Final 8.
Making his debut for the French team, Fils was extremely on serve in the opening set – hitting four aces and winning 88% (14/16) points off the first serve – and at times overpowered the Brit. The Frenchman’s relentless barrage of attack against the Brit’s serve eventually paid off as he reeled off three consecutive games to finish the set.
Fils took an early break lead in the second and looked set to see out the win, but the British No.2 showed every ounce of his grit and determination to inspire an immense comeback. At the first flicker of a chance on the Frenchman’s serve and Evans seized it with open arms. Four errors from Fils gave Evans the break back, which sent the 13,000 strong capacity crowd into a frenzy as the young French star showed the first signs of pressure.
Evans held to love and on his next service game, Fils missed two smashes and hit a double fault to pass the momentum firmly over to the Brit. Another hold to love and Evans went on to win seven games in a row – levelling the scores and taking a 3-1 lead in the third.
Competing in his 25th Davis Cup tie – the fourth most of any British player, behind Bobby Wilson, Mike Sangster and Andy Murray – Evans lost just five points on serve in the decider, wrapping up arguably one of his most important victories for his country to date.