After a tricky first day which ended with Leon Smith’s Davis Cup team level with Colombia in their Qualifying tie being played on the clay courts of the Pablo Viejo Country Club in Bogota, Great Britain took control of the tie to claim a place in September’s group stage of the Davis Cup Finals.
The important thing is we got a win, which gives us a chance to keep being successful this year and (we’re) really looking forward to September now. Leon Smith
Cameron Norrie, who kept Britain in the tie by winning his opening singles to level the scores at 1-1, secured the 3-1 victory when he defeated Nicolas Mejia 6-4 6-4 in the first of the reverse singles after Dan Evans and Neal Skupski opened the second day’s play by winning the doubles tie over the former world number one pairing of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, secured also 6-4 6-4 after two hours and 5-minutes.
With the tie in the balance and a passionate crowd urging the home players on, Norrie’s rubber was a tight affair and required the world No.11’s full concentration.
For the first six games it was touch and go, but Norrie broke through in the seventh and was then forced to save three break back points as Mejia, urged on by the Partisan crowd, roared him on. A double fault gave him a fourth opportunity which he took to the crowd’s delight.
Norrie immediately broke back as the Colombian also double faulted at a crucial point to take a 5-4 lead which he backed up with a love hold to pocket the first set.
Both players made eight unforced errors in that set but Norrie trailed in the winners line with just three against eight from his opponent.
But with the unforced errors increasing on Mejia’s side. Norrie took full advantage to establish a two game lead after breaking in the fifth game and holding to love, but failed to convert his first match point in the ninth on Mejia’s serve forcing Norrie to serve out the match which he had no trouble doing sparking joyful jubilation in the British camp.
Speaking after his victory, Norrie commented: “It was a good day, with Dan and Neal coming out strong; they came out firing with a tough ask against some of the best doubles guys in the world, especially in these conditions in Bogota.
“It really gave me a lot of confidence going into my match, being 2-1 up rather than 2-1 down.
“Mejia was tough, he was trying to get the crowd involved and on his side, and I really made the court mine and I was able put enough balls in the court and I served really well again.
“The team was fired up and it wasn’t an easy task for us to get through so Leon and the rest of the guys did a really good job.”
Playing at altitude was never going to be easy so it was surprising the captain Leon Smith was proud of their achievement.
“Feelings are one of immense pride for what the boys have done, and the support team – everyone’s committed a lot of time to this,” Smith said.
“It never had to be the highest quality of tennis because conditions don’t allow for that, but it needed a lot of grit and determination.
“The important thing is we got a win, which gives us a chance to keep being successful this year and (we’re) really looking forward to September now.”
The fifth rubber was cancelled.