Norrie Draws Great Britain Level After Mejia Magic For Colombia
It's all square for Great Britain and hosts Colombia after Friday's Davis Cup Qualifier action in Bogota.
After Colombia's Nicolas Mejia earned his first Top 100 win with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 result against Daniel Evans, Cameron Norrie levelled the tie at 1-1 by beating Nicolas Barrientos 6-2, 7-5.
Mejia clinched his milestone victory with a break in the final game against Evans, a blazing backhand passing shot sparking wild celebrations in the Colombian capital. After the competitors split a pair of one-sided sets, the 22-year-old fended off three break points in the first game of the decider before piling on the pressure late.
While he could not convert on two break chances as Evans held in a marathon game to level the set at 4-4, Mejias responded with a love hold before clinching victory with his third break of the two-hour, 31-minute contest.
"The key to victory? The attitude, dedication, not getting nervous more than necessary," he said post-match. "I have also learned a lot from previous defeats.
"I wanted to go out and win and I was not going to give them anything. I am very happy for the point that I was able to give to Colombia. There is a long way [to go] to think about victory."
In the day's second match, Norrie coped with the pressure of the 1-0 deficit and the volume of the home crowd, claiming an early break against Barrientos to settle British nerves. The British No. 1 again scored an immediate break to open the second set, but the Colombian snapped back with his first break of the match.
Barrientos then created five break points on return at 1-2, but he could not break Norrie's dogged resistance. The Colombian earned another break chance at 2-3 but was again denied, and ultimately paid the price when a missed volley handed Norrie a crucial late break in the set's 11th game.
With the match on his racquet, Norrie finished the job to earn Great Britain its first point in the tie.
"Especially given that we're the away team, they've got a huge advantage [with us] coming here on clay, in altitude, with the fans out there," Norrie said after his victory. "That's why we love it and that's why we're out here playing. I really enjoyed the match today and I can improve on a lot of things going into tomorrow."
Both teams will require two wins from Saturday's action to clinch the tie and secure a place in the 2023 Davis Cup Final Group Stage. Play is set to begin a noon local time with doubles.
Djere, Kecmanovic Earn Serbia Commanding Lead In Norway
Contrasting wins for Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic left Serbia 2-0 up after Friday's Davis Cup Qualifier play in Oslo.
After Kecmanovic cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 triumph against Norway's Andreja Petrovic, Djere scored a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(8) win against Viktor Durasovic, the stand-in No. 1 for the Norwegians after Casper Ruud's late withdrawal.
World No. 65 Djere saved a match point in the decisive tie-break before clinching victory on his third chance. The Serbian started well, not conceding a break point until the seventh game of set two, but found himself in a third set as Durasovic battled back with the help of his home crowd. Djere led 5-2 in set three but was dragged into a final-set tie-break after another surge by his opponent.
“It was a very tough match today, my opponent played exceptionally well,” Djere said after his win, before paying tribute to the small but vocal band of Serbian supporters in the stands. “The atmosphere was great, I’m thankful for all the support I got from the crowd. I'm very happy I got the win and got the second point for Serbia."
Kecmanovic, the World No. 34, enjoyed a more straightforward victory in just 46 minutes.
“It definitely feels good to start off without any drama, without any complication,” the 23-year-old reflected afterwards. “I think I played a really good match today, pretty solid from the back so overall I’m pretty happy with how things went.”
Today’s results leave Serbia one win away from a place in the 2023 Davis Cup Finals Group Stage, with the doubles match scheduled at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT) on Saturday followed by the reverse singles matches if required.
This story features contributions from DavisCup.com