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Norrie wins to give Great Britain victory in Davis Cup tie

Norrie wins to give GB victory

Cameron Norrie gave Great Britain a 3-1 victory in their Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan by winning his singles match against Sanjar Fayziev in Glasgow.

The British number two, who lost his opening singles match on Friday despite having had a match point in the third set, triumphed 6-2 6-2 6-0.

Victory in the tie ensures Britain will be seeded in the revamped Davis Cup when it starts in February.

Fayziev was a late replacement for world number 60 Denis Istomin.

Norrie said: “It’s an extremely proud moment. The crowd were awesome.

“Big thanks to my dad for actually staying put in his seat – he was pretty nervous the other day.”

Britain started the day with a 2-1 lead after Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot came from behind to win their doubles match on Saturday against Istomin and Fayziev.

Norrie’s victory on Sunday at the Emirates Arena meant there was no need to play the scheduled fifth rubber between Dan Evans and Jurabek Karimov.

‘Lessons learnt’ for Norrie

World number 70 Norrie had been expecting to face Istomin, who was stunned by Evans in the opener on Friday and spent seven hours on court over the past two days, but Uzbekistan named world number 516 Fayziev instead.

The 23-year-old Briton came into the match following the disappointment of letting victory slip away from him in spectacular fashion in Friday’s singles match against Karimov.

The only question mark over whether he had put it behind him came when he dropped the opening game on his serve, but he then won four games in a row to take charge of the opening set, which he won when Fayziev netted a return.

He was again pushed hard in the opening game of the second set but this time held his serve and then broke in the fourth and eighth games to go two sets up.

He had been in this position against Karimov but this time did not give Fayziev a chance as he rattled off eight games in a row – and 11 of 12 – to wrap up the match in just under two hours.

“I was pretty nervous coming into the tie today and Friday but the crowd got me through it. It’s always difficult playing your first home tie but I learnt a lot this weekend and I’m really proud of the team,” Norrie said.

Captain Leon Smith added: “Cam said it there – he would have learnt a lot from Friday. To get the response like he’s done, it takes a lot – credit to Cam.”

Tie not meaningless to us – Smith

Fitness trainer Matt Little joined in with the crowd at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena

The tie was set to be a World Group relegation play-off, with Britain’s place in the competition’s top tier at stake following their first-round loss to Spain in February.

However, the Davis Cup will change to an 18-team event season finale in 2019, rendering the tie effectively meaningless.

Twenty-four teams will compete in February’s qualifiers, which Britain are now seeded for, with the 12 winning teams advancing to the finals in November.

The four semi-finalists from the previous year’s tournament – which this year are France, Spain, Croatia and the United States – and two wildcard picks would complete the 18 teams.

“Some people said this was a meaningless tie but look at the Uzbekistan team, look at the crowd. It was hardly meaningless, it was brilliant,” Smith said.

“The big thing for us is we’re seeded now and we get a draw we could be successful in. Now we’re in it, we want to be part of it in November.”

Smith does not yet know if his side will play a home tie in February and, with next year’s finals to be staged in either Madrid or Lille, this was potentially the last time GB played in front of a home crowd.

“The crowd like home ties, and so do we,” Smith added. “The new format.. now the decision has been made, we have to embrace it.”

BBC Sport

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