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Davis Cup Qualifier: Cameron Norrie helps inspire Great Britain to hard-fought win in Colombia

British No 1 Cameron Norrie inspires Great Britain to victory over hosts Colombia in a tie played 2,500 metres above sea level; they reach the Finals group stages in September with the hope of making it through to the knockout Finals in November

Cameron Norrie, of Britain, celebrates a point against Nicolas Mejia of Colombia during their Davis Cup qualifiers tennis match in Cota, Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Image: Cameron Norrie secured Great Britain's place in the group stage of this year's Davis Cup

Cameron Norrie secured Great Britain's place in the group stage of this year's Davis Cup with victory in his second singles rubber of their qualifier in Colombia.

British No 1 Norrie came through a tense encounter against Nicolas Mejia in Bogota 6-4 6-4 on Saturday to hand Leon Smith's side an unassailable 3-1 lead.

His success came after Dan Evans and Neal Skupski had beaten Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles earlier in the day to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the tie.

Mejia, the world No 253, had caused a huge shock on Friday by upsetting Evans in the opening rubber of the tie before Norrie tied things up thanks to victory against Nicolas Barrientos.

Norrie saw off Mejia in just over two hours on his second match point.

"It was a good day, with Dan and Neal coming out strong, they came out firing with a tough ask against some of the best doubles guys in the world, especially in these conditions in Bogota," Norrie said.

"It really gave me a lot of confidence going into my match, being 2-1 up rather than 2-1 down.

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"Mejia was tough, he was trying to get the crowd involved and on his side, and I really made the court mine and I was able put enough balls in the court and I served really well again.

"The team was fired up and it wasn't an easy task for us to get through so Leon and the rest of the guys did a really good job."

'Hats off to the players' - Smith proud of performance

Great Britain's Davis Cup team captain and tennis coach Leon Smith during the Davis Cup group stage match between the United States and Great Britain at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.
Image: Captain Leon Smith was delighted with the 'big commitment' shown by his players

Captain Leon Smith said he had "immense" pride in his team's performance, which was produced despite the short turnaround following the Australian Open.

"Feelings are one of immense pride for what the boys have done, and the support team - everyone's committed a lot of time to this," Smith said before returning to the UK.

"Hats off to the players - they came down to Colombia, most straight from Melbourne, came earlier than we would ever normally do for a Davis Cup, it was a big commitment from them, but we did that to prepare best for what happened these last two days and it's definitely paid off.

"There's a lot of work that the players have done to adapt in a short space of time and they went out and fought really hard.

"It never had to be the highest quality of tennis because conditions don't allow for that, but it needed a lot of grit and determination.

"The important thing is we got a win, which gives us a chance to keep being successful this year and [we're] really looking forward to September now."

Britain's group-stage matches will all be played on home territory, at a venue yet to be determined.

A busy weekend of ties had 24 nations competing with the 12 winners joining 2022 champions Canada, runners-up Australia and wildcards Spain and Italy.

Switzerland, USA, Sweden, Serbia and France were some of the early winners to make it through.

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