Davis Cup 2023: Great Britain reach Finals as Cameron Norrie seals victory over Colombia
Cameron Norrie sealed Great Britain’s place in the Davis Cup Finals group stage as his victory over Colombia’s Nicolas Mejia gave the visitors an unassailable 3-1 lead in Bogota.
The British number one made it back-to-back straight-set wins at altitude on clay as he beat Mejia 6-4 6-4.
It meant Dan Evans was not required to play a final winner-takes-all rubber against Nicolas Barrientos.
Evans and Neal Skupski won their doubles contest earlier on Saturday.
The British pair defeated former world number ones Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4 6-4 to turn the tie in GB’s favour, after Norrie beat Barrientos on Friday to cancel out Evans’ surprise opening loss to the 253rd-ranked Mejia.
The challenge of competing 2,566 metres above sea level and using the unfamiliar pressureless balls required to cope with the high altitude led captain Leon Smith to label the trip the “most complicated” his side could have drawn.
However, Norrie seized the opportunity to send 10-time winners GB into September’s 16-team group stage with a hard-earned win at Pueblo Viejo Country Club.
Having punched the thinner air in celebration after forcing a first breakthrough in game seven, world number 11 Norrie was initially frustrated by an immediate response from Mejia, whose final winner prompted the excitable home support to erupt.
But the Wimbledon semi-finalist, 27, fired back once more to edge the first set – and he then took firm control as he consolidated a break to move 4-2 ahead in the second.
After Mejia once again delighted the crowd by denying Norrie on a first match point, the Briton roared as he served out the contest to love and confirmed his side’s progress to September’s Finals, where they will look to improve on last year’s group-stage exit.
Evans delivers on doubles debut
Following GB’s early exit last year, Evans said it was “a bit insulting” he had never previously been picked to play Davis Cup doubles.
Partnered by the current joint-top ranked doubles player in Skupski on his debut, Evans was able to put the disappointment of Friday’s three-set singles defeat behind him and contribute to a victory which left GB on the brink of achieving their goal.
The British pair made the perfect start with an opening break of serve, which proved enough to clinch the first set against the two-time Grand Slam champions.
They pushed on at the start of the second and another immediate break set them up to serve out the win, Evans and Skupski embracing in celebration after converting a third match point.
“My game style is pretty good for doubles,” said Evans.
“I’ve played with Neal plenty of times. He’s world number one and he talked me through the match. We have good energy, we’re very good friends, so I just had to play my game and he takes care of the rest.”
Skupski said: “We didn’t face a break point today so we played a very solid match. The crowd got very loud towards the end but we stuck together, we took our time, hit our spots and we came out on top.”