|Group stage venues: Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Valencia Appointment: September 13-18|
|Cover: Live TV coverage of Great Britain matches on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentary and match reports on the website and app|
Great Britain failed to reach the knockout stage of the Davis Cup final after Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury lost the key doubles match against the Netherlands.
The Group D draw in Glasgow was tied at 1-1 after Dan Evans won in singles before Cameron Norrie lost to set up a hard-fought final.
But Murray and Salisbury lost a thriller 7-6 (7-0) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop.
Victory puts the Dutch and USA into the next stage in November.
Leon Smith’s side will face Kazakhstan on Sunday but neither team will be able to advance, while the Netherlands will meet the United States on Saturday to decide who will qualify for the Malaga event as group winners.
A minute’s silence was again observed before the start of play and the encounter is played without the usual music between matches, as a sign of respect during the period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Disappointment for the “best” home team
Great Britain had arrived in Scotland with what they consider their strongest team in terms of depth, with three of the top 50 singles players as well as the world’s best and third-best doubles players.
They were beaten 2-1 by USA on Wednesday in a terribly close and grueling encounter, with all three matches going in straight sets and the game ending at nearly 01:00 BST.
With the United States next beating Kazakhstan on Thursday and the Netherlands triumphing in their opener against the Kazaks, the permutations in this tie were simple for the hosts – win or you’re out.
Dan Evans gave hope to the passionate home crowd with an assured performance against Tallon Griekspoor, capitalizing on the greater variety in his game and a propensity for a brilliant passing shot to beat him 6-4 6-4 and send the crowded Emirates Arena to their feet in celebration.
But their joy was short-lived when Britain’s number one Norrie put in a below-average performance against world number 35 Van de Zandschulp, whom he beat 6-1 6-2 just weeks ago at the Canada.
Norrie, who was also in bad shape in his match against American Taylor Fritz on Wednesday before turning things around, could not recover from a bad start after being broken in the third game of the first set.
Although he saved three set points, the world number eight couldn’t do anything on the fourth and was then immediately broken at the start of the second.
World No. 35 Van de Zandschulp was dominant on serve, racking up 13 aces, and also hit 18 winners against Norrie’s four in a well-deserved win where he said he “played an almost perfect game”.
And so it was doubled.
Andy Murray received by far the most applause this week when his name was announced, with the three-time Grand Slam champion returning to the men’s team tournament for the first time since 2019.
He had spoken of his regret over the ‘mistake’ of skipping the Davis Cup last year and how he was now ready to help the team this year even if he didn’t end up to play.
He ended up playing twice but couldn’t save the tie.
He and Salisbury broke in the first game of the game and led 3-1 but were broken to allow the Dutch to make it 4-4 and eventually lead it to a tie-break, where they lost no points .
The Brits may have started to feel things might not go to plan when Middelkoop won the most unlikely point of this tie-break, where he was sprawled on the ground halfway to the point to jump acrobatically and steal a winner at the net. .
But there were still more twists to come as a hard-fought second set headed for a seemingly inevitable tie-break.
A series of superb winners from Murray sparked ovations before complete silence as a smash from Middlekoop brought up a match point.
Salisbury kept their composure – and their serve – in style with a booming delivery that Middelkoop could only hit long and the Brits then won the set when a shot from Murray caught the net in a lucky spot to triggering wild celebrations from their teammates. including a jubilant lap of honor from Evans.
But missed chances at 3-3 and a loose service game from Salisbury in the following game pooped the party as Murray struck wide to give the Dutch pair a break that left them serving for the game. Having had to wait 50 minutes since their last match point, they weren’t about to miss another chance and secured victory when Murray scored.