Dan Evans plays the hero as Great Britain notch dramatic Davis Cup win over France
Dan Evans was Great Britain’s hero with singles and doubles victories in a dramatic winner-takes-all Davis Cup tussle against France in Manchester.
Evans recovered from a set and a break down to defeat teenage debutant Arthur Fils and then, after Cameron Norrie had lost a close battle against Ugo Humbert, teamed up with Neal Skupski for a hugely tense 1-6 7-6 (4) 7-6 (6) victory over Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
The British pair saved four match points in the deciding set before clinching their second match point in the tie-break, sparking scenes of huge jubilation.
The 2-1 win earned Britain top spot in their group and booked their place in November’s final-eight week in Malaga, where a quarter-final against either Italy or Novak Djokovic’s Serbia awaits.
A sell-out crowd of 13,000 at the AO Arena, a single-day record for the competition in Britain, also played its part as Leon Smith’s side completed an unbeaten week after earlier successes against Australia and Switzerland.
“About 6-1 in the first set I thought he’d picked the wrong team,” said Evans.
“Thanks to every single one of you. It turned into pandemonium.
“Some embarrassing stuff probably out there but we’re going to Malaga so it doesn’t matter.”
“It was bonkers,” said Smith. “I don’t know what I’ve just sat through for nine hours.”
There was nothing to choose between the teams from the start, with Evans digging very deep to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over 19-year-old Fils.
Fils is the highest-ranked teenager in the world at 44 and the most exciting of a crop of young French players.
It was immediately clear this was not a comfortable match-up for the 5ft 9in Evans, who struggles to impose his finesse-based game against power hitters, and he was in deep