September 18, 2023
Davis Cup magic comes to Great Britain every so often – and the reward for the weekend’s heroics in Manchester is a quarter-final place in Malaga!
There was pandemonium as Dan Evans and Neal Skupski sealed an unlikely victory for GB over France.
Both players fell to the floor before Evans jumped into Skupski’s arms and 13,000 spectators went crazy.
Andy Murray bounced around in a bucket hat like some ecstatic teenager.
Davis Cup fans have the same sort of passion we’ll see on Centre Court and No1 Court at Wimbledon 2024.
But it seemed for all the world an impossible dream for Evans and Skupski in the deciding set against the experienced Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Mahut knows all about heartbreak in England after losing Wimbledon’s longest ever match against John Isner back in the day. But he couldn’t have seen this latest reverse coming.
At one point Evans was serving at 0-40 and 4-5 in the third, with the French seemingly enjoying all the match-point comfort they needed.
The Brits had to save four match points in all, before they sparked scenes of sheer joy by closing out the key breaker 8-6 to take the match and the tie 1-6, 7-6, 7-6.
They will join Canada, Australia, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Finland among others in the last eight. But either Italy or Serbia will be GB’s next opponents.
The draw takes place this week – and the finals will become an early-winter delight in Malaga between November 21 and 26.
Davis Cup stardust will now be sprinkled in a fresh European location – and the Brits have already done the tournament proud.
After five hours on court in Manchester against the French, a magnificent singles comeback against Arthur Fils and a deserved MVP award, Dan Evans won’t worry about which opponent awaits in Spain.
He said later: ‘The Davis Cup matches I saw as a youngster in Birmingham are what made me want to get into tennis – and there is no feeling like playing for your country.’
It showed! He had been instrumental in taking down both Australia and Switzerland earlier in this action-packed weekend.
Evo beat Aussie hot-shot Alex de Minaur in the singles – and joined forces with Skupski to beat the legendary Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker in the deciding rubber against the Swiss.
Jack Draper and Andy Murray enjoyed vital wins along the way as GB secured their trip to Malaga. And Britain’s strength in depth is there for all to see.
Davis Cup stars Jack Draper, Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Neal Skupski and Cameron Norrie will all be ready to light up Wimbledon 2024 as well.
But you certainly don’t have to be British to enjoy the unique atmosphere at Wimbledon, the historic home of tennis.
Watch your own favourites go deep at Wimbledon 2024 – and savour all the glamour of the greatest sporting fortnight on the planet.
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