Dan Evans in the group stage of the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, Madrid
Dan Evans in the group stage of the 2019 Davis Cup Finals, Madrid | (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for LTA)

Tennis | Davis Cup Finals 2023 | Dan Evans ‘emotional’ after decisive doubles seals Great Britain’s quarter-final berth

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Dan Evans admitted he was ‘emotional’ after he played a huge role in Great Britain’s decisive doubles win that sealed a place in the Davis Cup quarter-finals
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – An ‘emotional’ Dan Evans secured a successful week for Great Britain in Manchester as a decisive doubles win against France secured Great Britain’s place in the quarter-finals.


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Great Britain are going to Malaga after a successful week in Manchester which saw them beat Australia, Switzerland and France. However the week was not easy by any means as the British team were inches away from elimination on the final day.

The week started with a 2-1 win over Australia with Leon Smith picking Jack Draper and Dan Evans for day one singles. Draper was making his Davis Cup debut when the Brit took on Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening match of the week. The match was a fierce battle with Kokkinakis dominating the most of the rallies in the opening set as the Australian won the opening set tiebreak 8-6.

However Draper displayed resilience and power as he came back to win the next two sets 6-3 7-6(4) as he prevailed in almost three hours to give Great Britain the lead. Next up it was the turn of Evans to consolidate the lead as he took on Alex De Minaur in a tough test. The Brit had recently regained form at the US Open and showed early signs of that in a 6-1 demolition of De Minaur in the opening set.

The world number 12 wasn’t about to give up easily though as he fought back to take the second set 6-2 with Evans producing a number of unforced errors. However Evans would prevail in a tense final set as the Brit edged the final set 6-4 in the final set to give Great Britain an unassailable 2-0 lead. In the doubles rubber, Australia would have the last laugh as Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell defeated Evans and Neal Skupski 7-6(5) 6-4 although Smith would rely on that pairing throughout the week.

A couple of days later Great Britain would return to take on Switzerland with Smith giving Andy Murray and Cameron Norrie a chance to prove their worth. Murray would be first up as he took on the powerful hitting of Leandro Riedi. Murray struggled to gain consistent control of the aggressive returning of Riedi although as everyone would later find out the three-time Grand Slam champion was playing on an emotional day as it was the day of his grandmother’s funeral.

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After losing an epic tiebreak 9-7, Murray would use depth and consistency to neutralise Riedi’s explosive power with the former Davis Cup champion winning the next two sets 6-4. Next up it was the turn of an out-of-sorts Norrie as the Brit took on another former Davis Cup champion in the form of Stan Wawrinka. It was another poor performance from Norrie as a lot of his shots lacked authority as Wawrinka cruised to a 7-5 6-4 victory.

That meant that it was up to Evans and Skupski to seal the tie against Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker. The British pairing were on fine form this time around as they responded in fine fashion to their defeat to Australia as they claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory.

The final match of the week saw them take on France with their being a lot on the line for both teams. As Australia were already through, it was now a winners take all tie with a place in Malaga up for grabs. Evans was rewarded with his impressive performances as he took on Arthur Fils in the opening rubber. It was a match that had passion and drama as Evans came back from a set down to beat the talented Frenchman 3-6 6-3 6-4 to give Great Britain the early lead.

However to the surprise of everybody Smith relied on Norrie in the second rubber with the British number one taking on Ugo Humbert. Norrie pushed the powerful Frenchman all the way but the Brit’s lack of confidence was telling as he lost in a three set battle to Humbert 7-6(5) 3-6 7-5.

In front of a 13,000 capacity crowd in Manchester it was all on the line for Evans and Skupski as they took on formidable pairing Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The start to the match left a lot to be desired with the French pairing seemingly on their way to victory as they claimed the opening set 6-1.

However the British pairing refused to back down including Evans who had a lot to say to the French bench during the match. The British pairing was resilient and stubborn in their approach as they saved four match points and took the next two tiebreaks 7-4 and 8-6 to seal another historic Davis Cup win on home soil.



Evans ‘emotional’ after Davis Cup win, Smith looks ahead to Malaga

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Another incredible atmosphere for Great Britain as they look forward to a place in the quarter-finals in Malaga in November. Speaking after an incredible tie, Evans said he was ‘emotional’ and reflected on another historic Davis Cup week.

“The doubles was chaos, I just kept saying to Neal ‘we’ve got a chance’. We both kept going and we stuck together,” Evans told the Davis Cup website.

“It was an amazing day, an amazing feeling. Emotional more than anything. You want to be with these guys in the Finals. You know what happens if you lose…. It’s not ideal at home as well. You feel that. It’s an immensely proud moment for me and the team. Something with Davis Cup, it’s just never, never simple.”

Evans will no doubt be a key figure in their quarter-final tie in November when they take on Serbia or Italy in the last eight. Great Britain will find out their opponents in Tuesday’s draw but Smith admits they shouldn’t fear anyone.

“We’ve got a brilliant team,” Smith told the Davis Cup website.

“We’ve got a chance against anybody. It’s really tight, the matches can go either way – we’ve seen that here [this week]. Every single tie we’ve had here could have gone either way, so we’ve got a fighting chance, definitely.”

The final eight tournament in Malaga will take place from the 21st until the 26th of November.



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