By Ros Satar, in Glasgow
- Cameron Norrie def. Sanjar Fayziev 6-2 6-2 6-0
- GB secure a seeding for the February qualification rounds for the new Davis Cup format
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – Cameron Norrie earned his redemption after losing his opening rubber with a convincing win in the first of the reverse singles to secure GB the win.
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Cameron Norrie def. Sanjar Fayziev 6-2 6-2 6-0
Although initially the news that Denis Istomin would not be playing in the first match in the reverse singles, it was a tentative start by Cameron Norrie against Istomin’s doubles partner Sanjar Fayziev, with the Uzbek taking full advantage of Norrie’s slow start to get an immediate break.
It perhaps freed the British No. 2 up as he peppered the lines break straight back. Whether nerves were getting to him or not, a few wayward clatters of the ball kept everyone on edge as Norrie managed to hold on to a double break cushion.
Fayziev’s languid style gave way to perhaps a tighter arm as Norrie broke to take the first set. It still felt at times like a battle for the Brit as once more he saw multiple break point chances go begging, before making good on a far stronger return game to break for the lead.
He was put under pressure saving five break points on his own serve before rallying for a much more commanding break to love for a 2-0 lead.
Going 3-0 up in the third sound sounded celebratory and warning bells in the same instance – after all he had looked solid in his first rubber before Jurabek Karimov had turned the match around to hand Norrie probably his worst career loss on his Davis Cup home tie debut.
Norrie’s game had gotten steadily stronger though and the more the third set wore on the less convincing Fayziev looked behind his shots, building up Norrie’s confidence as he clocked up a second bagel of the two – finishing as he started, and surely burying a little of the hurt he felt after his opening loss.
Norrie said: “I felt like I wanted to prove something to myself and prove I could turn it around so it’s pretty different coming into today and having them change the line-up last minute so I mean not really, no. I gave everything I could.
“On Friday, I was obviously really disappointed but I didn’t get over the line there and today I was in exactly the same mindset. I think I was more clear on my service games and just handled it better. I was really happy with how I closed out the match. On Friday I let the guy back in a little bit and then he got some confidence. I was a lot more clinical today.”
GB Team Captain Leon Smith is now at least assured that a seeding should help us avoid some of the high-ranked teams, but the February Home/Away tie still falls to host nations, and their ability to put on a show ought to be considered in the factors when it comes to wildcards.
Smith said: “Important thing was to get a seeding to avoid the strongest nations, although I think it’s going to be interesting to see what the ITF do. They obviously sent round their descriptor of how the criteria was going to work for the wild cards.
“It feels like the wild cards are going to be a tricky one for them to decide to allocate before the qualies. It’s difficult to have objective criteria. I’m really interested to see how they do it and their justification for who they give the wild cards to. Clearly we’d be a strong candidate based on the last three or four years in the competition, how we’ve hosted ties. Not sure what else goes into it but not sure many other nations would have got 3,300 kids in for a kids day midweek to do something for a Davis Cup tie.”
The Davis Cup final will be held between 23-25 November.
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