Great Britain beaten by the United States in decisive Davis Cup doubles final at the end of the evening | Davis Cup

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Despite a long, hard fight into the wee hours of Thursday morning in the group stages of the Davis Cup final, Britain ultimately succumbed to the United States 2-1 in Glasgow as Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury were defeated in a decisive doubles match at 00:58.

The three-game marathon tie in three sets began at 4 p.m. as Tommy Paul outlasted Dan Evans 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the battle of the second-seeded players. Cameron Norrie equalized Britain on Wednesday night, recovering from a set down to defeat Taylor Fritz 2-6, 7-6(2), 7-5 and set the stage for a decisive brace. After two hours and 49 minutes of drama, the star American team of Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock outlasted Joe Salisbury and Andy Murray 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to seal the tie.

It was still probably the most difficult match for Great Britain and the United States, two teams tied. In the first match, Paul’s much improved attacking mindset led him to victory against Evans in an intense, high-quality encounter on Glasgow’s slow courts.

“It’s tough. It’s tough. But another good effort,” Evans said. It was going to be tough. It definitely turned out to be for me. I played good tennis. I just couldn’t get over the line.

An even tougher challenge awaited Norrie, who moved up to career No. 8 this week as he took on Fritz, the winner in Indian Wells earlier this year, who established himself at the forefront of the American men’s tennis and currently sits 12th in the standings.

For much of the match, Fritz smothered Norrie with a big serve and controlled aggression. He got through the first set and then generated a break point in each of Norrie’s last four games in the second set. Norrie dragged himself to the tiebreaker and then eventually started pushing Fritz away and avoiding the American’s mistakes. He took the tie-break and then had the upper hand throughout the final set.

“I think for me, I know exactly what’s at stake. I know it’s a game to win for us. I think the more pressure I got, the more I was stuck in a corner, the better I played today,” Norrie said.

Cameron Norrie celebrates after beating Taylor Fritz of USA. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA

With the competition limited to doubles, captain Leon Smith opted for Murray’s big match experience against Neal Skupski, the world No. 3 in doubles. It initially seemed like a winning decision as Murray initially played very well alongside Salisbury, navigating countless close games to lead 7-5, 3-1. They then conceded five of the next six games, with Sock’s forehand coming to life as they headed to a final set. The two teams went blow for blow throughout the third set, the American team sealing their only decisive break at 5-5 and then closing the day just before 1 am.

“The only good thing about tonight is that usually you lose a Davis Cup doubles match, it can cause you to lose the whole match or whatever, you’re knocked out of the competition. But with the new format, obviously we have two more games. We have to try to look at the positives from today. I think everyone played at a good level from what I saw,” Murray said. .

Evans described the mood at his Davis Cup final in Glasgow as “grim” at times in light of the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II. Evans lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to Paul of the United States in the team’s first game of the week.

In light of Queen Elizabeth’s death, each group stage tie began with a minute’s silence, with each full team present on the pitch ahead of the match on Tuesday, the first day of play. No music played was played when changing sides throughout the event. Despite these changes, the typical sounds of drums and chants were present at the Emirates Arena.

“It was dark [during the] change of sides,” Evans said. “Something was missing. That’s what it is at the moment. We are very lucky to play. Fortunately, the event was able to continue. We just do our best. Yeah, it was always a good vibe, I always enjoyed it.

The Davis Cup Final is being played with a new format this year, the third different format in the three competitions since Kosmos, the sports investment firm co-founded by footballer Gerard Pique, took over the event in 2019 .

Now split into two distinct phases, each of the four groups takes place in the group stages in different European cities, with Glasgow hosting Group D: Great Britain, USA, Netherlands and Kazakhstan. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Round of 16 in Malaga in November.

Despite the dramatic scenes, such a late arrival is also a reflection of a questionable schedule on the part of the organizers, who have chosen to start the meeting at 4 p.m. While Great Britain take on the Netherlands on Friday, Team USA are due to return later on Thursday for their second game against Kazakhstan.

“It’s not ideal,” Murray said of the late finish. It’s not just here, of course. We saw it at the US Open even last week. It’s something that tennis needs to think about a bit. I don’t think it looks that professional.

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