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Germany squeeze past Britain to reach Madrid.

In the second of the Davis Cup quarterfinals Germany upset Great Britain, squeezing past the favourites in Innsbruk 2-1 to make the Madrid semi-finals later in the week.

We’re all gutted, but I think for the future, it’s going to be good to have experienced this and it is definitely going to make me and everyone else want it even more. I’m going to remember this Cameron Norrie

All was going so well with Dan Evans opening the tie with a comfortable 55-minute 6-2 6-1 victory over Peter Gojowczyk to give the Brits the start they wanted.

Gojowczyk, ranked 86th, was given the nod ahead of Dominik Koepfer for the opening rubber. Unfortunately he struggled badly on serve and double-faulted four times in two games allowing Evans, ranked 25, to race into a 4-0 lead.

Evans broke three more times in a one-sided second set as he rebounded from Sunday’s shock loss to the Czech world number 143 Tomas Machac in the group stage.

However, Cameron Norrie the world No.12, couldn’t get past the powerfully built and dogged Jan-Lennard Struff, ranked 51, and eventually went down 7-6(6) 3-6 6-2 leaving the tie in the hands of the doubles teams.

Cameron Norrie considers his options

Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Norrie fell 4-1 behind in the first set but broke twice and was serving for it at 6-5. Struff, Germany’s top singles player in the absence of Alexander Zverev (who refuses to play in the new Davis Cup format) promptly hit back to take the set to a tie-break.

Indian Wells champion Norrie led 6-4 only to see Struff reel off the final four points to snatch the first set.

A single break earned Norrie the second set, but Struff kept Germany in the competition by closing out victory with four games in a row in the decider.

“I’m very happy the way I played today, Cam Norrie is a very tough competitor, who is fighting very hard,” Struff said after levelling the tie.

“It’s tough — I had the feeling I had to put the pressure on him — I made it today.”

Finally, in what was a bruising encounter between two pairs serving bullets at each other, it was the duo of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz who tipped victory Germany’s way, defeating Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski 7-6(10) 7-6(5).

Very disappointing for the Brits who had beaten Germany at the same stage two years ago to make the last four in Madrid and they certainly had their chances in the doubles where neither partnership’s serve was broken.

In the tie-breakers Germany held off four set points and then in the second set, came back from 0-5 down to snatch the set and tie 7-5!

“It’s great, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” said German captain Michael Kohlmann.

“We had super team chemistry. We had a tough loss today and on Sunday and this team is capable of getting over these unexpected things.”

While the Germans celebrated loudly in the empty auditorium, the Brits went backstage to lick their wounds and reflect on what could have been.

“Overall, the week was excellent,” said Norrie. The British No.1. “It is a really enjoyable way to end the season and I’m so proud of everyone on the team as they left it all out there.

“I don’t think anyone was too happy with their level at times throughout the week, but it’s a long season. It’s a tricky way to end, especially on a match like this.

“But we all definitely enjoyed it. We’re all gutted, but I think for the future, it’s going to be good to have experienced this and it is definitely going to make me and everyone else want it even more. I’m going to remember this.”

But it is Germany who travel to Madrid where they will face either the Russian Tennis Federation or Sweden for a place in the final.

They join Croatia who on Monday, became the first team to reach the semis by defeating Italy 2-1 and they await the winner of Wednesday’s quarter-final between Novak Djokovic’s Serbia and Kazakhstan.



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