Davis Cup: Great Britain edge past Kazakhstan 2-1 to reach quarter-finals
Great Britain through to the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup in Madrid where they will face Germany
Last Updated: 21/11/19 5:02pm
Deadly doubles duo Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski helped Great Britain seal their spot in the Davis Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 success over Kazakhstan on Thursday.
Kyle Edmund opened the tie on a winning-note with a 6-3 6-3 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin in the opening rubber before British No 1 Dan Evans went down 5-7 6-4 6-1 defeat to an inspired Alexander Bublik.
Jamie Murray and Skupski then repeated their heroics from Wednesday against the Netherlands in the deciding doubles as they proved too good for Kazakh pairing of Bublik and Kukushkin 6-1 6-4.
Edmund wasn't part of the team's opening round against the Netherlands and came into the team as the No 2 singles player for this decisive clash.
Leon Smith had elected to field Edmund and Evans for the two singles matches with Andy Murray supporting from the team bench. Jamie Murray and Skupski retained their places for the doubles rubber.
On court at the Caja Magica in Madrid, Edmund cut a determined figure as he raced to a straight-sets win over Kukushkin, who is ranked two places higher than him.
The Brit was named late as the fifth member of Great Britain's squad and pipped Cameron Norrie to the post after a strong run at the Paris Masters.
"Today I just wanted to go on court and really give it my all. It was such a buzz to thrive off this crowd. Davis Cup, playing for your country - it doesn't get any better," Edmund said.
Edmund's performance set exactly the right tone for the day from a Great Britain perspective.
He struck his hefty groundstrokes with authority, pounced on any short balls and stayed tough in the face of any pressure, saving all the break points he faced.
"The job's half done so we really need to push it home now," Edmund added.
In the second rubber Evans was unable to emulate Edmund's result as world No 57 Bublik came back from a set down to level things and send the tie into a crucial deciding doubles rubber.
The Kazakh regularly sent down second serves in excess of 125mph, and one that landed virtually on the baseline gave Evans the first set, Bublik smashing his racket on the court in disgust.
But a break of the Evans serve for 5-4 in the second turned the tide and he was overpowered in the decider.
It was left to Jamie Murray and Skupski, who was making his Davis Cup debut this week, to get Great Britain over the line as their superior doubles knowledge proved too smart for Bublik and Kukushkin.
Davis Cup quarter-finals line-up
|Serbia||vs||Russia [Friday AM]|
|Australia||vs||Canada [Thursday PM]|
|Great Britain||vs||Germany [Friday PM]|
|Argentina||vs||Spain [Friday PM]|