Great Britain edged through to the quarter-finals of the ATP Cup following a Dan Evans-inspired clean sweep victory over Moldova, writes Joe Gallop.
An in-form Evans produced another superb performance to brush aside Radu Albot 6-2, 6-2, after fellow Brit Cameron Norrie beat Alexander Gozbinov by the same score on Monday and a Jamie Murray/Joe Salisbury pairing also delivered in the doubles.
Great Britain may have eased through their final round robin tie and secured the 3-0 win but they had to wait until the Belgium-Bulgaria doubles clash to find out their immediate fate.
Belgium prevailed via a third set tie break, which meant the Brits topped Group C and will now face a much tougher test when they play Australia in the last eight on Thursday.
Evans appears to have finally hit his peak and is set to break into the top 40 for the first time ever this week following a memorable run of matches.
After just falling short to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in his opening match, the British No.1 produced one of the biggest wins of his career on Sunday and gave the GB team a huge boost with a stunning 2-0 victory over Belgium’s David Goffin.
It was far more routine for the 29-year-old in his final match, who was gifted points by Moldova’s only top 100 player and managed to wrap up the match in just one hour and 12 minutes at the Ken Rosewall Arena.
In a match Britain had to win to stay in the tournament, Evans clearly did not feel the pressure and was particularly strong on his return of serve, winning 71% on Albot’s second serve.
British captain Tim Henman was full of praise for Evans after his victory: "He was world class again. Gave so little away. Got off to a very good start, took his opportunities, and it was a really clinical performance."
"I have known the tennis he's capable of. I would just say the challenge is to deliver that consistently throughout a match, consistently throughout the tournament and throughout a year," said the former world number four.
Henman will come up against a familiar foe on Thursday with Lleyton Hewitt leading the Australia team and he previously said he was relishing the opportunity: “Obviously I have a lot of history with Lleyton and everyone knows their team well. It would be a big challenge.”