Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Jeremy Chardy beats Dan Evans to double British deficit in France

Kristopher Love | 19 April, 2017, 07:21

Lucas Pouille gave hosts France a winning start in their Davis Cup quarter-final against Great Britain on Friday with a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 victory over Kyle Edmund.

The double defeat of singles players Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans had left the British pair with a mountain to climb to come back and win the best-of-five tie, but the first hurdle was simply to avoid the first 3-0 defeat since Ukraine in 2009.

France captain Yannick Noah has warned home fans against thinking the Davis Cup quarterfinal against Britain will be easier just because Andy Murray is not playing.

The momentum was with the French then and Murray's frustration was evident at times, incapable as he was to turn tight games to Britain's advantage in the final set.

"I always did the competition, it was an opportunity to meet other people, go to different places where they don't have the opportunity to see this kind of tennis".

Serbia nailed a 4-1 win over Spain in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup tennis tournament at the Aleksandar Nikolic Hall here.

His biggest problem was the surface: Evans is not a clay-court player, indeed had not played on this surface, at any level, since losing in the first round of qualifying at Roland Garros nearly three years ago.

"We're pretty noisy and raucous - a lot more than England's Barmy Army", said Jamie MacDonald, one of the founders of namesakes Stirling Uni Barmy Army, who follow Britain's Davis Cup team around. However, he and partner Julien Benneteau got the last laugh, beating Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 to put France up 3-0 and clinch the tie for them. "Hopefully we can play the semi -final at home and ultimately we want to bring back the trophy to France".

Edmund was leading 5-2 in the second-set tiebreaker before losing four straight points. His only win since, though, came in the first round of Indian Wells, where he went on to take Novak Djokovic to a second-set tie-break.

"We have been to 17 or 18 ties since we started and never thought we'd still be going eight years later", said MacDonald, 30, a tennis coach and former business studies student who now runs a sportswear firm.

Britain beat France at the same stage on their way to the 2015 title, but will be without world number one Andy Murray as he recovers from an elbow injury.