November 25 - December 5

Davis Cup by Rakuten

Madrid, Innsbruck, Turin

Davis Cup 2021: Britain knocked out in close quarter-final battle

  • Davis Cup Madrid Finals logo
  • 30/11/2021

  • Davis Cup

Results

  • Dan Evans beat Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-1
  • Cam Norrie lost to Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2.
  • Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski lost to Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 7-6(10), 7-6(5)

Match summary 

Germany are through to their first Davis Cup semi-finals since 2007 after defeating Great Britain 2-1 in a hotly contested match-up in Innsbruck.

In a repeat fixture of the 2019 quarter-finals, Dan Evans got the Brits off to a flying start, but inspired performances from Jan-Lennard Struff and their doubles partnership – Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz – booked their place in Madrid this weekend.

Leon Smith’s side leave the finals having reach the last eight for the sixth time since 2014 and will return in 2022 with a qualifying tie to progress to the finals.

Impressive Evans puts the Brits ahead

Dan Evans got off the British team off to a flying start with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Peter Gojowczyk in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

Evans looked fired up from the start and capitalised on a shaky service game from Gojowczyk to go a break up. He followed it up with a comfortable hold and it was all one-way traffic for the British No.2.

Gojowczyk struggled to find his rhythm, blasting four unforced errors in his next service game to gift Evans a double break.

Bouncing back from his defeat against the Czech Republic on Sunday, Evans barely put a foot wrong in the first set, spraying the ball with pinpoint accuracy across the court. He fought hard in a lengthy game to hold for 5-1 and went on to seal the set on his next service game, finishing with an ace and another error from the German.

Gojowczyk couldn’t match Evans’ level of consistency as yet more mistakes gave the Brit another early break to start the second set.

Evans then broke again with one of his shots of the day – guiding an outstretched backhand slice down the line and past the German rushing into the net.

With his opponent seemingly already beaten, Evans served out his final service game to love and broke for a fifth time to wrap up a commanding victory in under an hour.

“I decided to stay cross court a lot of the match and give myself the opportunity to go down the line – I worked hard and that was the story of the match really”, said Evans.

“I think it was some of the best tennis I’ve played all year and I was just happy to get the win for the team.”

Struff at his best to tie the score at 1-1

Jan-Lennard Struff levelled the scores in the Davis Cup quarter-final after defeating British No.1 Cam Norrie 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2.

With the pressure of going one rubber down, Struff brought his best level against Norrie, who had so far gone unbeaten at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals so far.

Struff came out all guns blazing – bombing four aces on his first two service games to hold with ease, while also breaking the Brit on his first opportunity.

The German was in inspired form, but Norrie grew into the contest and at 4-2, he chose his moment to attack, racing to a 0-40 lead. Struff had to pull out a couple of huge shots to save three break points, but couldn't prevent the Brit bringing it back on serve.

The set went to a tie-break where Norrie drew first blood with the mini-break. The Brit even had two set points at 6-4, but the German had other ideas. He won four consecutive points, including a couple of brilliant volleys, to clinch the first set.

The level didn’t drop from either player to start the second set – the pair stayed on serve to 3-2 on the German’s serve. Struff had multiple game points, but Norrie dug deep to keep himself in every point and his resilience paid off. He grinded Struff down and took the break after forcing a costly error.

Confidence peaking, Norrie held for 5-2 with a delicate backhand drop shot volley and he kicked on to serve out the set, 6-3.

At 2-3 in the decider, Struff pounced on a short second serve from Norrie to rip a forehand winner down the line for his first break points of the set. He got the vital break and backed it up with a hold in the biggest spot.

After one of the matches of the event so far, Struff completed his victory in just over two hours with an impressive break.

Krawietz and Puetz put Germany through to final four

Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz took Germany through to the semi-finals of the Davis Cup with a nail-biting 7-6(10), 7-6(5) win over Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski.

With a place in the final four on the line, both the British and German doubles teams started well, showing little signs of nerves in the deciding rubber.

Krawietz – a two-time Grand Slam champion and current World No.14 on the ATP doubles tour – showed his class from the get-go and didn’t lose a point on his first couple of service games as both sides refused to give up an early advantage.

At 5-5 the match really came to life. The Brits had a glimmer of a chance swept away from 0-30 facing Puetz’s serve and were then on the back foot defending break points after a tricky lob return forced Skupski to hit his smash into the net. But the San Diego Open champions kept their cool to serve out three excellent points and force the tie-break.

Krawietz and Puetz threatened to pull away in the tie-break and held a 4-2 lead before an incredible backhand return winner from Skupski levelled the scores. Both sides struggled to play in front – both losing a handful of set points – but it was Germany who took the set 12-10 in the breaker.

It was more of the same in the second set as the match remained on a knife edge. The Germans continued to dominate on serve – winning 93% of points on first serve in the opening ten games – while the British duo came up strongest in the biggest moments. Neither side managed to create a break point opportunity throughout the whole set so once again, they went to the tie-break.

Salisbury came out on top of the opening exchanges with two frames winners to take the mini-break and got off to a 5-0 lead. The Germans weren’t down and out though – a comfortable hold backed up by a pair of returns right at the feet of the approaching Salisbury, bought it back to 5-5.

In an astonishing comeback, Krawietz and Puetz finished with seven consecutive points in a row to see out a tight win over the British side.