On paper, Australia was the favorite country to win Wednesday’s series against the United Kingdom. And not just because it is the finalist nation of the 2022 edition of the Davis Cup. In addition, the individual players selected for the confrontation had a better ranking than their rivals. In the end, however, the locals, supported by the support of the Manchester public, won the series. And in advance.
Daniel Evans, No. 27 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, made it 2-0 for the British after defeating Álex de Minaur, No. 12 in the rankings, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. In his 23rd Davis Cup match for Great Britain, Evans broke De Minaur’s serve five times and advanced after two hours and 10 minutes.
Earlier in the day, Jack Draper had been the protagonist. The No. 106 ranked player won a tight game against World No. 74 Thanasi Kokkinakis to open the series scoring for the Leon Smith-led leaders.
Although the 21-year-old left-hander went bust in the deciding set, he broke when it mattered most: at 4-5 to extend the match, which he ended up winning by sets of 6-7(6), 6 :3, 7-6(4) in two hours and 54 minutes.
At the end of the day, Australia added honors thanks to Max Purcell and Matthew Ebden’s 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Evans and Neal Skupski. These results leave the United Kingdom in second place in Group B and Australia in third place. The zone’s leaders remain France, who beat Switzerland 3-0 on Tuesday.
Canada surprises Italy
The defending champions caused one of the surprises of the week with a 3-0 win against the local team and took the lead in Group A, which was played in Bologna, despite the last-minute absence of Denis Shapovalov. Chile followed them with a 3-0 win -Victory on Tuesday against the Swedes.
Earlier, world number 200 Alexis Galarneau defeated Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (10), 6-4 after saving two set points in the first set. Furthermore, Gabriel Diallo surprised Lorenzo Musetti 7:5, 6:4. In doubles, Galarneau and Vasek Pospisil won 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3) against Matteo Arnaldi and Simone Bolelli.
This week 16 countries will compete in four groups spread across four cities (Bologna, Manchester, Valencia and Split). The top two in each zone qualify for the grand final in Malaga, which will be played in November in a knockout format starting from the quarter-finals.