Davis Cup: Dan Evans gives Great Britain 1-0 lead over France

Dan Evans
Dan Evans reached a career high of 22 in the world rankings in 2021
Venues: Madrid, Innsbruck, Turin Dates: 25 November – 5 December
Coverage: Live text commentaries on GB ties, reports on the BBC Sport website and app

Dan Evans battled past Adrian Mannarino to give Great Britain a 1-0 lead over France in their Davis Cup tie.

The British number two grew in confidence to beat Mannarino 7-5 6-4 in a high-quality Group C encounter in Innsbruck, Austria.

Cameron Norrie will attempt to give GB an unassailable 2-0 lead when he faces Arthur Rinderknech later on Saturday.

“There are so many emotions involved and I am just happy to come through and set it up for Cam,” Evans said.

Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski are set to represent Great Britain in the doubles against Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Evans fought for one hour and 55 minutes to beat the experienced Mannarino, overcoming early struggles on serve to complete the match in straight sets.

“I thought about the match all week – I was very nervous beforehand,” he said.

“I wanted to set it up for Cam. All the pressure is on the other guy to get it to 1-1 and that was my job.”

Like much of the GB team, 31-year-old Evans has enjoyed a strong season, winning his first ATP title and reaching a career high of 22 in the world.

Both he and Mannarino showed signs of nerves, with Evans slipping to 0-30 down on serve four times in the opening set.

The Briton secured the first break to serve for the opener at 5-4 but Mannarino, after a long, emphatic talk with France captain Sebastien Grosjean – broke straight back to love.

Evans upped his aggression to amass more break points, converting the decisive one with a huge forehand down the line, and he closed out the set with a thumping serve that Mannarino could not return.

Mannarino cut a frustrated figure during the second set, frequently gesturing to his captain and the empty stands as Evans found his serve.

After squandering a break opportunity in the fifth game, Evans found himself two break points down, but he mixed serve and volleys with his big forehand to stave off the 33-year-old.

Evans peppered the forehand corner, putting Mannarino under constant pressure, and it showed as the Frenchman fluffed a volley that ultimately allowed the Briton to break and serve for the match.

There were no signs of his struggles in the first set, with Evans serving out to love before turning to roar in celebration at the GB support box.

The Davis Cup is being held across three cities, with the semi-finals and final being held in Madrid from 3 to 5 December.

Teams play two round-robin ties, each featuring two singles and one doubles rubber all played over best-of-three sets.

The top teams from each group and the two best runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals.

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