GB ‘bouncing’ for Germany quarter-final

Dan Evans and other Great Britain team members congratulate Cameron Norrie after he continued his 100% winning record in the 2021 Davis Cup Finals
Date: Tuesday, 30 November Time: From 15:00 GMT Venue: Innsbruck, Austria
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app

Great Britain’s players are “bouncing” going into the Davis Cup quarter-final against Germany in Innsbruck on Tuesday, says captain Leon Smith.

Britain are in the last eight for the sixth time since 2014 and Smith says team spirit is vital to their success.

They are aiming to triumph for a second time under Smith after success in 2015.

“We spend a lot of time together because we enjoy each other’s company. It’s been like that for a long time and long may it continue,” said the Scot.

Britain reached the last eight at this year’s Davis Cup Finals – which featured 18 nations playing their group ties in Innsbruck, Turin or Madrid – after beating France and the Czech Republic in the round-robin stage.

In the absence of the resting Andy Murray, world number 12 Cameron Norrie has won both of his singles rubbers with Dan Evans, along with doubles players Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski, also putting points on the board.

Those victories saw the team finish top of Group C, ensuring they would stay in Innsbruck to face the Germans in a tie played behind closed doors because of coronavirus restrictions in Austria.

It is a rematch of the 2019 quarter-finals when Britain won before losing to eventual champions Spain in the semi-finals.

Staying in a mountainside hotel overlooking the Austrian city, where darts matches and other games are providing entertainment, has helped strengthen the bond.

“I love the guys, it is not just the players and myself, the support team are absolutely brilliant,” said Smith.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more. They are a not just a nice bunch of people but everyone goes the extra mile.

“They do everything for us and do it with a smile on their face, everyone feels part of it.”

Germany beat Serbia and Austria to win Group F, even without world number three Alexander Zverev – who does not like the self-styled ‘World Cup of Tennis’ finals format which was introduced in 2019.

Instead they are led by Jan-Lennard Struff and Dominik Koepfer, who are ranked 51st and 54th respectively, in the singles.

In the doubles, two-time French Open champion Kevin Krawietz has played alongside Tim Puetz in the absence of injured regular partner Andreas Mies, with the pair winning both their matches.

If they beat Germany, Britain will face the winners of Thursday’s last quarter-final between the Russian Tennis Federation and Sweden.

That semi-final would take place in Madrid on Saturday, with Sunday’s final also in the Spanish capital.

“It’ll be a tough match but we will also be a tough match for them,” said Smith, whose players had a light session based around recovery on Monday.

“We’ve got a really good team and taken a lot from the last couple of days. It has been a tough couple of days but the guys have stepped up to the plate brilliantly.

“We will go in bouncing and in good form, ready for that.”

Croatia are the first nation into the semi-finals after beating co-hosts Italy in front of a partisan crowd in Turin.

The nations shared the singles rubbers after Croatia’s world number 279 Borna Gojo beat 27th-ranked Lorenzo Sonego, before Italy’s world number 10 Jannik Sinner fought back to win against former US Open champion Marin Cilic in three sets.

That teed up a deciding doubles where Croatia’s world number one pairing of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic won 6-3 6-4 against Sinner and Fabio Fognini.

Croatia Davis Cup team celebrate
The Croatia team celebrated together after reaching the semi-finals

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