November 25 - December 5

Davis Cup by Rakuten

Madrid, Innsbruck, Turin

Davis Cup 2021: Great Britain through to quarter-finals with comeback win over Czech Republic

  • Davis Cup Madrid Finals logo
  • 28/11/2021

  • Davis Cup

Results 

  • Dan Evans lost to Tomas Mahac 6-2, 7-5
  • Cam Norrie beat Jiri Lehecka 6-1, 2-6, 6-1
  • Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski beat Tomas Mahac and Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-2 

Match summary

Great Britain are through to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten with a 2-1 win over Czech Republic to finish top of Group C.

After losing the first match of the tie, the Brits came back to reach their sixth Davis Cup quarter-final since 2014, thanks to a gutsy win from Cam Norrie and a deciding doubles rubber from Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski.

In their bid to lift an 11th Davis Cup title, Leon Smith’s side will face the winner of Group F on Tuesday 30 November for a place in the semi-finals.

Group C standings

NationPlayedWonLostMatches W-L 
Great Britain 2 2 0 4 - 2  
France 2 1 1 3 - 3  
Czech Republic 2 0 2 2 - 4

Mahac gives Czech Republic early lead

Czech Republic took a one match lead against Great Britain as Dan Evans lost to an inspired performance from Tomas Machac 6-2, 7-5.

Playing like a man with no pressure, the 21-year-old found a sensational forehand return winner to set up break point, before Evans costly mistake gifted Machac the game.

Evans was left to ride out the Czech’s world-class start, but Machac showed no signs of slowing down. In one of the matches of his career so far he barely missed a shot and continued to attack Evans from the back of the court, breaking again on the third time of asking for a 5-2 lead. Three aces later, the Czechs had the first set.

It was more of the same in the second set – in the opening game Evans fought back from three break points down and had a few opportunities to hold but Machac found a couple of breath-taking winners to take the lead again.

With everything going against him Evans managed to claw his way back into the match. A brace of blistering down the line winners helped him level the scores, which he followed with a much-needed hold.

He kicked on from there – grinding out point after point until he finally got his reward, with a break on Mahac’s serve. He then had a chance to serve out the set at 5-3, but a couple of key mistakes gave the World No.143 a route back in.

Mahac found his feet again and showed great mental strength to win four games in a row to see out the win for the Czech Republic.

Norrie comes through three set battle to force decider

Cam Norrie kept Britain’s hopes of finishing top of Group C alive with a tough 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 win over Jiri Lehecka in an hour and 43 minutes.

Norrie makes it two victories out of two at this years finals, with the tie going down to the deciding doubles rubber.

It was a dream start for Norrie – looking like a man on a mission – as he broke Lehecka in the opening game to ease some pressure from the British team.

The British No.1 has been one of the breakthrough stars on the ATP Tour this season and he made his quality tell against the young Czech early on. He broke the 20-year-old again in the fifth game, thanks to a flurry of forced errors and a punishing forehand winner to go 4-1 up.

Norrie’s consistency has proved a problem for many of the top players in the world this season and he only hit two unforced errors en route to taking the first set in under half an hour.

The Czech star turned the match on its head in the second set. He was given in a lifeline early in the second set and managed to capitalise on a drop in intensity from Norrie as he raced to a 3-0 lead – including two breaks of serve.

Clearly inspired by the performance of his fellow countryman in the first match of the day, Lehecka hardly missed a beat as he served out the set 6-2.

With the tie on the line, Norrie saved a break point to get a much-needed game and then broke his opponent in the most pivotal moment of the match. 

The World No.12 showed his experience when it mattered most – his forehand in particular causing Lehecka all sorts of problems late into the match. The errors started to return for the Czech as Norrie broke again for 5-1 and eventually saw out a hard fought victory.

"I missed a lot of first balls and gave him some cheap points in the second set", said Norrie.

"Full credit to him, he was serving big but I managed to re-group and come back and play my game for a must win match."

Salisbury and Skupski complete British comeback

Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski pulled out the stops in the deciding doubles rubber – beating Jiri Vesely and Tomas Mahac 6-4, 6-2 to see Great Britain through to the quarter-finals.

Salisbury and Skupski looked the brighter of the pairs early on, using their doubles experience to their advantage and never really looking troubled on serve.

Salisbury was a dominant force at the net throughout the match and came up big in a couple of points on Vesely’s serve at 2-2 to set up a break point but the Czechs held on.

An opportunity came again at 4-4 against Vesely’s serve as the Czech his first double fault of the match for 30-40. Skupski found a big return on the following point and Salisbury was there again to clean up at the net – advantage Great Britain.

In the second set the Brits continued to push on. Full of confidence, they launched an assault on Mahac’s serve, taking control of the net to seal the early break.

After a disappointing result against Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech yesterday, the 2021 San Diego Open champions seemingly felt like they had a point to prove, marching on to a comfortable 3-1 lead.

There was no coming back for Vesely and Mahac, who just looked outmatched against the Brits. Mahac lost his serve again and with that Salisbury and Skupski cruised to a well earned win.

“It’s very special (to get his first Davis Cup win), it was amazing atmosphere even without the fans here – the support team have been amazing", said Salisbury.

"Playing for your country and getting the win with Neal is really special."