‘It was another incredible fight back’ – Naomi Broady reflects on Britain’s epic final showdown against France
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Riding on the high of Great Britain’s third and final win at the Davis Cup Finals in Manchester, former tennis star, presenter and commentator, Naomi Broady reflects on the Brits ability to soak up the pressure to eventually defeat France and book their place in the Final 8.
It was an absolute emotional rollercoaster of a day. I think we saw a bit of everything thrown in there throughout the day but overall, it was just a brilliant win over a very strong French team.
It would’ve been really easy for Evo (Dan Evans) to let the pressure get to him especially against a young, up-and-coming player like (Arthur) Fils who is so incredibly talented, it was never going to be an easy match. Being a set and a break down it would’ve been so easy for him to say ‘okay, today is not my day, I’m not playing my best tennis’ but somehow he managed to keep fighting and managed to pull his best tennis out from within himself and get the win.
Cam’s (Norrie) match against Humbert was always going to be a difficult one. The Frenchman had been playing incredibly well all week for France - who were one of the strongest teams in the group. Sometimes you have to just clap your racket and say you’re opponent was too good on the day, but Cam threw everything but the kitchen sink at him and in the end, it wasn’t quite enough to get past Humbert.
Moving onto the deciding doubles, it wasn’t as much of a surprise that the French had won the first set but more of a shock at how quickly it went and how extreme the scoreline was with it being 6-1. I know how good Nikolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin are, but I did have Evo and Neal (Skupski) down to win it after seeing how well they’d played alongside each other throughout the week.
I have no idea how they managed to turn the match around, especially from being three match points and 40-0 down in the third set. I couldn’t even watch from the tunnel I was just listening to the score because I was too nervous.
It was another incredible fight back, which was the theme of the day for GB – I think it was written in the stars.
Great Britain will now face either Italy or Serbia in the Final 8 but every game from here on out is going to be tough because you’re getting to the final stages of the tournament. I suppose if Novak (Djokovic) is playing for Serbia, you’d rather the Brits face Italy but we know how strong Italian tennis and the strength in depth is incredible.
It was a real team effort and everyone played a part in getting the victory and if the guys are able to fight and come together as they have done this week, then they’re in with a great chance of getting through to the next round.