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Great Britain face crunch clash against Aussies

Big win: Dan Evans celebrates his victory over Radu Albot
Big win: Dan Evans celebrates his victory over Radu Albot

By Eleanor Crooks

Tim Henman's Great Britain team face an ATP Cup quarter-final battle with hosts Australia after getting a helping hand from Belgium.

After winning their final Group C game against Moldova 3-0 at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Britain needed Belgium to beat Bulgaria to avoid having to rely upon securing one of the two best runners-up spots to make the last-eight, and saw them fight back from Steve Darcis' singles defeat by Dimitar Kuzmanov to win 2-1.

Kuzmanov's 6-0 6-3 victory over Darcis was just his second at ATP Tour level, and it looked to have paved the way for success when team-mate Grigor Dimitrov threatened to repeat the feat as he raced into a 3-0 first-set lead against David Goffin and eventually prevailed 6-4.

However, Goffin hit back in the second as the Bulgarian faltered, breaking in the first game - which lasted almost 10 minutes - and eventually taking the set 6-2 with an ace before racing through the third to seal a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win, just his second over former World No.3 Dimitrov in 10 attempts.

There was further drama in the doubles, where Dimitrov and Alexandar Lazarov took the first set but eventually succumbed 3-6 6-4 10-7 after a match tie-breaker.

Earlier, Great Britain's Dan Evans had built upon his victory on Sunday against World No.11 Goffin by wrapping up a clean sweep over Moldova with a 6-2 6-2 win over Radu Albot.

The World No.42 saved multiple breaks in the second set to lead 3-1, his passing shots proving too much for the Moldovan.

His win came after Cameron Norrie had beaten Alexander Cozbinov 6-2 6-2.

The 24-year-old's victory came relatively easily, despite Cozbinov fighting back with several good points in the second set.

But the Briton was too strong and, after a double fault handed him a timely break at 5-2, he served out comfortably for the match.

The final word went to Jamie Murray and Joe Salisbury, who beat Albot and Cozbinov 6-2 6-3.

The Britons broke their opponents early to take a 4-2 lead before Murray closed out the first set 6-2.

Murray broke again early in the second set, a forehand winner up the line taking Britain to 2-0 to the delight of captain Henman on the court's edge.

A pair of aces from Salisbury handed the Britons a 5-2 advantage before Murray held serve.

Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas accidentally hurt his father in a meltdown during his clash with Australia's Nick Kyrgios.

Greek captain Apostolos Tsitsipas, who coaches the 21-year-old, was caught by Tsitsipas' angry racket swipe as he reacted to losing the opening set on a tie-break in Brisbane.

Tsitsipas Sr reacted with shock and moved to sit further away from his son, with a bruise visible on his arm.

Belfast Telegraph


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