Cameron Norrie moved past Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-2, 7-6(8) Saturday at the Davis Cup Finals to ensure Great Britain made a winning start in its first tie in Group C in Innsbruck, Austria.
The World No. 12 saved all four break points he faced and hit 24 winners as he overpowered Rinderknech to secure victory after two hours and six minutes.
Earlier, Daniel Evans had given Great Britain a 1-0 lead when he defeated Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 56 minutes.
The 31-year-old won 80 per cent (20/25) of his first-serve points and broke three times to seal his win.
“It was always going to be a difficult tie,” Great Britain capitan Leon Smith said. “Evans got us off to a great start. I thought his mentality was really good today. I thought he got the balance right, playing offensive tennis like we know he can do, while also showing his defensive skills. Then with Cam, it was a heck of a match. It just shows you how far he has come and the confidence he has got.”
In the final match of the tie, France clawed one point back when Nicolas Mahut and Rinderknech overcame Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski 6-1, 6-4. Great Britain will qualify if it beats the Czech Republic on Sunday, while France can still advance as one of the two best second-placed nations.
In the second tie of the day in Austria, Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz won the decisive doubles rubber for Germany, defeating Serbian pair Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(5).
Krawietz and Puetz rallied from a break down in the third set to clinch a 2-1 win for Germany after two hours and 13 minutes.
“The deciding doubles at the Davis Cup is always tense,” Krawietz said. “We were a break down in the third set, but we kept competing and it worked out.”
“Kevin and I know each other really well and have known each other for a few years and played together at a few tournaments and that helps tremendously,” Puetz said. “We get on really well off the court, so playing together feels natural.”
Earlier, Dominik Koepfer had given Germany a 1-0 lead in the Group F tie when he beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours and one minute.
The World No. 54 hit 34 winners to give the former champion an early advantage in its first tie of the tournament.
Djokovic then levelled the tie for Serbia, dispatching Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-4 in 74 minutes. Serbia can still qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the best second-placed nations after defeating Austria 3-0 Friday.
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