Murray hails Brits on day of Davis Cup underdogs

web_photo_ Cameron Norrie_02022018

Britain's Cameron Norrie in action during his match against Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain for the Davis Cup World Group tie between Spain and Great Britain at Puente Romano tennis club in Marbella, Spain, 02 February 2018.

PARIS - Andy Murray hailed unheralded British compatriot Cameron Norrie as "amazing" on Friday as Davis Cup underdogs delivered a series of body blows to the established powers of men&39;s tennis.

Murray was the architect of Britain&39;s Davis Cup title triumph in 2015 but injury ruled him out of the trip to Marbella to face Spain, playing in their clay court comfort zone.

-- He&39;s done it! --@cam_norrie beats Bautista Agut 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to level the tie for Great Britain 1-1 BackTheBrits ---- pic.twitter.com/XqNMZhskIw

— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) February 2, 2018

 

But world 114 Norrie, making his debut in the competition, stunned Spain&39;s 23rd-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to pull Britain level at 1-1 in the World Group tie after world number 21 Albert Ramos-Vinolas had seen off Liam Broady 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8/6).

"That’s one of the most amazing wins/results/upsets I’ve seen in a long time on a tennis court.. Well done to cam Norrie and all the team.. Broady was excellent," tweeted Murray, recovering at home from hip surgery.

Spain, the five-time Davis Cup winners, were expected to cruise through the tie even without injured world number one Rafael Nadal.

But 22-year-old Corrie, who had never before competed on European red clay, was undaunted by facing a player who had not lost a Davis Cup match since 2014.

"It is 100 per cent the best day of my career," said Corrie. "I backed myself physically and mentally against the guy. I wanted to work him as hard as I could."

Spain&39;s Davis Cup skipper, Sergi Bruguera, in charge for the first time, hailed Corrie.

"He played unbelievably," the former two-time French Open champion told daviscup.com.

Defending champions France were also level with the Netherlands in Albertville, but only after a shock in the first rubber when world number 369 Thiemo de Bakker downed the 25h-ranked Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-3.

 

 

Mannarino was a late call-up after first choices Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille pulled out injured.

"I don&39;t fear the French. I have beaten them before and I knew that I had the weapons to defeat them again," said De Bakker.

Fortunately for France, the experienced Richard Gasquet levelled the tie by seeing off Robin Haase 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 7-5 despite suffering from blisters.

In Brisbane, Australia and Germany were also 1-1 but world number five Alexander Zverev survived a huge scare before seeing off the 139th-ranked Alex de Minaur 7-5, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Nick Kyrgios pulled the hosts level seeing off Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on the back of 21 aces.

Croatia, missing Australian Open runner-up and world number three Marin Cilic, are 1-1 at home to Canada in Osijek.

Borna Coric claimed a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory over 85th-ranked Vasek Pospisil before fellow &39;NextGen&39; star Dennis Shapovalov, ranked 48 eased to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Viktor Galovic, the world 181.

For 18-year-old Shapovalov, it was a less dramatic first round tie compared to 12 months ago when he was defaulted for accidentally hitting the chair umpire with a ball in the home tie against Britain.

Japan, without talisman Kei Nishikori, are 1-1 with Italy in Morioka.

 

 

Fabio Fognini, the world 22, saw off 100-ranked Taro Daniel 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 before Yuichi Sugita levelled by beating Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/1).

Elsewhere Friday, Belgium, the 2017 runners-up, opened a 2-0 lead over Hungary who are bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

In Astana, Kazakhstan are also 2-0 to the good against 2014 champions Switzerland who are without Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka.

Record 32-time champions the United States were 1-0 up on Serbia, playing without the injured Novak Djokovic, in Nis after Sam Querrey, ranked at 12, battled past world number 88 Laslo Djere (6/7 (4/7), 6-2, 7-5, 6-4).