For a match that started so well for former British No. 1 Kyle Edmund, it would result in another frustrating loss – his eighth in a row, against the No. 3 seed Matteo Berrettini.
The start of the match saw a return to Edmund’s more aggressive style of play, commanding the court with his serve and forehand combo firing well, whereas Berrettini looked sluggish and error-strewn before tweaking his ankle in an awkward looking roll that possibly put his continued play at risk.
However, it was a temporary glitch for the Italian, who started to work his way into the match, as Edmund’s stats started to tail off. In a match of small margins, it took just one break late in the second set to give Berrettini a route back.
With his confidence growing, while Edmund’s is still in a fragile state, Berrettini struck first and ultimately decisively early in the decider and held onto the advantage with no other break-points being offered up to either player, to hand Edmund an eighth straight defeat.
Who snaps up the final Davis Cup spot?
Also on Monday Davis Cup team captain Leon Smith named four of his planned five-man squad fir the Davis Cup Finals, the new week-long event in Madrid.
The inaugural Davis Cup finals will take place at La Caja Magica on specially laid hard courts, with 18 nations battling for the Davis Cup trophy.
In a press release from the LTA, Smith said: “I’m delighted to name our first four players to represent GB for the Davis Cup Finals. Dan is playing some of the best tennis of his career and firmly deserves his place back inside the world’s Top 50.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic to see Andy back competing again, headlined by his incredible win in Antwerp yesterday. Jamie and Neal have been gaining much momentum as a team with impressive semi-final runs at Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing and Shanghai.
“We are in a good position with improved strength and depth in our team and will be naming the fifth player in the next couple of weeks. We are looking forward to bringing our best tennis to the group phase and as always, we are excited to play for our many home fans and all those traveling out to Madrid.”
With Edmund struggling for form, it is widely believed that the fifth and final spot will go to Cameron Norrie, who now moves back to to the British No. 2 spot, especially with a resurgent run in tournaments following a disappointing first round loss at the US Open.
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The Davis Cup Finals will follow a round-robin format before the winners of each group and the next two top teams will advance to the knockout stages. Ties will feature two singles matches and one doubles rubber, all best-of-three tie-break sets.
Great Britain, who last won the Davis Cup in 2015 are in Group E, together with the Netherlands and Kazakhstan. They will play them respectively on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 November.
The quarter-finals will take place on Friday 22, semi-finals on Saturday 23 and the final on Sunday 24 November.
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