November 25 - December 5

Davis Cup by Rakuten

Madrid, Innsbruck, Turin

Davis Cup 2021: Great Britain beat France in opening tie

  • Davis Cup Madrid Finals logo
  • 27/11/2021

  • Davis Cup

Results

  • Great Britain 2-1 France
  • Dan Evans beat Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4
  • Cam Norrie beat Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 7-6(8)
  • Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski lost to Nicolas Mahut and Arthur Rinderknech 6-1, 6-4

Highlights

Match summary

Great Britain take the advantage in Group C after a 2-1 win over France in their first match of the 2021 Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten.

In the 23rd meeting between the two sides, Leon Smith’s team showed their quality in defeating the 10-time champions to extend their winning record over France to 13 victories.

Dan Evans and Cam Norrie sealed the early win for the Brits with impressive victories over Adrian Mannarino and Arthur Rinderknech, which meant the tie was wrapped up before the doubles even began.

Britain will need to defeat Czech Republic in their final group game tomorrow to finish as Group C winners and progress to the quarter-finals.

Group C standings

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

Evans secures straight sets win over Mannarino

Dan Evans beat Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4 to give Great Britain the early advantage over France in their first tie of the 2021 Davis Cup Finals.

Break points came and went for Evans early in the third game as Mannarino found a couple big first serves right when he needed them most – but had momentum was starting to shift towards the Brit.

Third time was the charm for Evans, who managed to grind out his opponent with break points in his thrid successive game and got his reward as Mannarino struck a forehand into the net.

Evans won 67% of second serve return points in the opening set and despite the threat of a Mannarino comeback, broke again en route to securing one set lead.

Evans beat the Frenchman in straight sets when the two met at the cinch Championships in June and looked set to extend his winning record against the World No.71.

With the scores locked at 4-4, Mannarino hit a great bending serve out wide but Evans was equal to it, hammering his return down the line to claim the break. There was only going to be one winner from there – the British No.2 served out the match to love to pick up his nineth career win at the Davis Cup.

“It’s not easy to come out playing first – I’ve thought about the match all week and it’s difficult to come out and get your game on the court" said Evans.

“I was very nervous beforehand but it’s great to come out, play for my country and get a point on the board.

“Davis Cup is so up and down, it’s a rollercoaster, so many emotions but you have to do your job on the court and stay focussed – I’m just happy to come through and set it up for Cam.”

Norrie victory seals tie for Great Britain 

Cam Norrie wrapped up an early win for Great Britain, defeating French top seed Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 7-6(8) at the Davis Cup Finals in Innsbruck.

Norrie only needed a couple of games to find his range – setting up break points in only the third game against the big serving Frenchman. Rinderknech did well to hold on to the game, but the early signs indicated it would be Norrie’s day.

At 2-2 Rinderknech failed to take his chances to stay on hold – a crucial backhand volley sailing wide on game point among a flurry of errors as Norrie took the lead.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by LTA (@lta)

It was plain sailing for the World No.12 from there – he won nine consecutive points, breaking Rinderknech again, as he wrapped up the first set 6-2.

In the longest game of the match, with the scores locked at 3-3 in the second set, the World No.58 persisted with his serve and volley approach to save three break points and cling on to what felt like a pivotal hold.

With nothing to split the pair, the second set went to a tie-break, where Rinderknech took the early mini-break after an uncharacteristically wild forehand from Norrie but the Brit dug deep to fight from 4-1 down to level the scores.

Match point came and went for Norrie, but the Brit saved his best for last – playing the shot of the match with a cross-court backhand winner, 8-7 down. He completed the double break and didn’t waste his second chance to finish the match – clinching the win for the British team.

"It was a difficult match with a lot on the line. He was serving rockets and I was doing my best to keep playing it deep and get in the rally", said Norrie.

"The team behind me were great, especially with no fans – they created a lot of energy and atmosphere and were able to lift me at the end."

Salisbury and Skupski lose out to strong French duo

After disappointment in the singles, the French doubles team got off to a flyer – winning the opening three games, including a break on Salisbury serve, while only dropping four points.

Mahut had an inspired performance when he and Salisbury met in the final of the Nitto ATP Finals last week and it was much of the same in the opening exchanges. He helped carry the French pair to a 5-1 lead – a pair of clean forehand return winners being the pick of the highlights from Mahut and Rinderknech.

With the first set wrapped up for the French team, Salisbury and Skupski got back on track with a couple of strong holds to settle themselves back into the match.

They kept their opponents on serve for much of the second set but the French pair refused to drop their level. They finally got their breakthrough facing Skupski’s serve and took the lead with a cool backhand slice down the line from Rinderknech for 5-4.

Mahut closed it out with an expert service game to love to ensure that France took one rubber from the match.