Britain battled to victory over final yr’s Davis Cup runners-up Australia of their Finals group stage opener on Wednesday, whereas Spain and Italy each suffered chastening defeats at dwelling within the premier males’s staff competitors.
Debutant Jack Draper repaid Britain skipper Leon Smith’s religion in him by giving the hosts an outstanding begin, as he got here from behind to seal a 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Thanasi Kokkinakis in entrance of the partisan dwelling crowd on the Manchester Arena.
“There’s nothing better, a real battle and a massive crowd here,” Draper stated. “It’s amazing to play my first Davis Cup tie in the UK in this sort of arena. I’m so grateful to be here and I’m happy Leon trusted me and put me out here today.
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“I’m playing for my country so I had to put everything on the line… the team’s dialled in this year, we want to get to the Finals after a tough run last year.”
Britain, bidding to achieve the quarter-finals from Group B after lacking out for the primary time since 2018 final yr, then accomplished the victory when an impressed Dan Evans beat world quantity 12 Alex de Minaur 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
In Valencia, the Czech Republic took an unassailable 2-0 lead over hosts Spain, who have been lacking Carlos Alcaraz after the world quantity two determined to drag out of the squad to get better following his U.S. Open semi-final defeat.
Tomas Machac cruised previous Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-4, 6-4 and Jiri Lehecka doubled their lead, downing Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6(5), 7-5 to place them in a robust place in Group C alongside Serbia, who received their tie on Tuesday.
The prime two groups from every of the 4 teams will advance to the knockout rounds in Malaga, which occur in November.
Italy additionally endured a disappointing day in entrance of dwelling followers in Bologna, as defending champions Canada secured a cushty Group A victory in a re-match of final yr’s semifinal.
World quantity 200 Alexis Galarneau beat Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(8), 6-4 and the 158th-ranked Gabriel Diallo shocked Lorenzo Musetti 7-5, 6-4 as Canada confirmed they could be a pressure even with out Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic.
Italy are with out Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini this week however nonetheless have three top-50 singles gamers within the squad.
In Split, the United States acquired off to a superb begin in opposition to hosts Croatia as Mackenzie McDonald downed Dino Prizmic 6-4, 6-2 however Borna Gojo levelled the Group D tie by beating world quantity 11 Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 7-6(6).
But the U.S. pair of Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram edged out Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-2 within the doubles rubber to make sure a 2-1 victory.