By Ros Satar, in Glasgow

  • Great Britain take on Uzbekistan in the World Group Play-off
  • Leon Smith names team as Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jamie Murray, Dominic Inglot
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – As Great Britain returns to Glasgow for the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs against Uzbekistan, Dan Evans returns to the team after serving a drugs ban for using cocaine.

 

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With Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund off the books as far as this final Davis Cup tie of the year (and indeed of the way Davis Cup used to be), Dan Evans will come back into the British side, bridging experience to a younger side.

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Great Britain

  • Cameron Norrie [WR70]
  • Jay Clarke [WR173]
  • Dan Evans [WR222]
  • Jamie Murray [WRD11]
  • Dominic Inglot [WRD23]

 

Uzbekistan

  • Denis Istomin [WR60 / WRD472]
  • Jurabek Karimov [434]
  • Sanjar Fayziev [D448]
  • Khumoyan Sultanov [WR536]
  • Farrukh Dustov [WR1086]

 

Play-off Rounds

  • Rubber 1: Dan Evans v Denis Istomin
  • Rubber 2: Cameron Norrie v Jurabek Karimov
  • Rubber 3: Dominic Inglot/Jamie Murray v Sanjar Fayziev/Denis Istomin
  • Rubber 4: Cameron Norrie v Denis Istomin
  • Rubber 5: Dan Evans v Jurabek Karimov

 

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The return of Evans

For Evans, as he works his way back up the rankings after his suspension for a drugs violation, it is a result of fortunate timing, coming so soon after the US Open, and a lacklustre US swing for British No. 1 Edmund, and for a long road back to tour level competition for Murray.

Evans was banned for 12 months last year, only making his return in April after being found to have taken cocaine. For the bad boy of British Tennis, it was yet another example of how his impetuousness gives way to a talent that has seen him as a stalwart of the team over the years. He had reached a career-high world ranking of 41, and contested his first ATP World tour final that year.

Evans acknowledged he had been lucky to be in the frame: “Obviously with Andy and Kyle not being able to play this week, I was pretty lucky that I got asked to play and hopefully I’ll take the opportunity and get a point on the board for the guys.

“I’ve felt pretty good. I didn’t play so good the past two weeks. Probably shouldn’t have played the last two weeks. Went straight from Canada to Majorca. But just been trying to get as much tennis as possible. I feel like I’m playing pretty good again, and hopefully I can just keep putting my game out on the court and improving.”

Evans started his comeback in the newly created Challenger event in Glasgow, originally viewed along with Loughborough as a mechanism to help Murray on his way to rehabilitation. Instead it served to get Evans some much needed ranking points, going from unranked in Glasgow to inside the Top 1000 after coming through three rounds of qualifying in the Loughborough Challenger and going a couple of rounds.

British No. 2 Cameron Norrie has a special reason to be celebrating being the top Brit on the board, with his Scottish father having made the trip from New Zealand to watch him in the home tie.

Norrie said: “I’m pretty grateful to be part of the team again. Obviously it’s pretty different from the Spain tie. Yeah, my dad travelled all the way from New Zealand yesterday. Got here today. He’s pretty jet-lagged, but great to have him here. He grew up here in Glasgow, so it’s a pretty special moment for us”

“From what I’ve heard the Scottish crowd gets pretty rowdy, from what Jamie’s said. It’s going to be an incredible atmosphere, I know with the kids yesterday it was pretty loud. I’m looking forward to my first home tie.

“It’s going to be a pretty incredible experience tomorrow. I just can’t wait to get out there and compete.”

Also in a young team was Jay Clarke, who won his first Challenger title this summer. Leon Smith talked through his team selections.

Smith said: “It’s a different dynamic, obviously, the last few weeks. But it’s great to have so many players at the level. I’m really pleased with the guys that are here.

“You look at obviously Dan has played a huge amount of matches since May, and has beaten a lot of players. Has a lot of good momentum.

“And Cam over the last 18 months has made excellent progress. That doesn’t mean to say it was an easy decision for Friday not playing Jay who has made really good as well, and won his first challenger in Binghamton in the summer.

“And he’s a young guy doing terrific things. Doubles-wise, Jamie and Dom have got bags of experience. Both have had really good years – Dom picking up three titles, and semis as Wimbledon. And Jamie having a brilliant summer – Washington, Cincinnati and obviously winning in New York.”

The first day of the tie takes place at the Glasgow Emirates stadium at 1pm

 

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