Great Britain and Canada look set to play-out a Davis Cup classic after the singles on Friday ended with both teams having recorded one victory each.
In the absence of Andy Murray, Dan Evans assumed the responsibility of being Britain’s number one. The opening rubber saw him face Denis Shapovalov, who is ranked a full 189 places below Evans.
As the rankings suggested would be the case, Evans was a comfortable 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victor.
He served well and was never really put any under pressure in the big games. His returns were solid and gave him many looks at break-points. However, for the most part, Evans was simply putting the ball in play and waiting for Shapovalov to make a mistake.
The young Canadian amassed a staggering 39 unforced errors in just three sets.
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 3, 2017
Speaking after the match, Evans admitted that he was struggling to maintain his high level of play – he reached the finals of the Sydney Apia International in January and then made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open – but added that he was happy to be able to contribute to his country’s cause.
“It's tough mentally to keep going and going but it's the start of the year and I have to keep going until I get a week off when I get home,” he said.
"I stayed focused, played my game. Obviously it would have been easier with Andy [Murray] but I'm really happy we're 1-0 up and hopefully Kyle [Edmund] can get another point on the board now."
Unfortunately for Britain, Edmund was not able to get another point on the board. He lost to Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3).
Elsewhere on Friday in the Davis Cup World Group, the USA fought their way to a 2-0 lead over Switzerland after Jack Sock beat Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 and John Isner triumphed over Henri Laaksonen 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1).
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) February 4, 2017