Davis Cup Braehead Report

By Holly McCormack

BRAEHEAD earned the right to host yet another Davis Cup tie after Great Britain secured victory over Slovakia last weekend.

The Renfrewshire arena will now host a fourth successive tie when Belgium come to town during the Easter Weekend.

The decision to hold the tennis tournament again at Braehead is a vital financial boost to the local area.

Dan Evans proved to be the unlikely hero after he secured victory over Martin Klizan 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.

Local Tennis fans may initially have been disappointed that Andy Murray pulled out the tie but the thousands who did attend were not left un-entertained.

Evans got things off to a tremendous start on Friday after an emphatic straight sets win over Lukas Lacko.

This was a huge achievement considering Evans is ranked 233 places below Lacko.

James Ward a more stable figure in the Davis Cup team struggled in the 2nd rubber, losing out to Klizan after four sets.

Doubles pairing Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins provided short-term relief for the Braehead crowd after winning the crucial middle-day rubber in four sets.

Britain took that 2-1 lead into the final day as they faced another two crucial matches but Ward struggled to find a way past Lacko.

The Slovak player learned from previous mistakes and crushed Ward in straight sets to level the tie.

Evans then shook off the doubters as he led an expectant nation.

Cruising in the opening two sets, he then faced a momentum shift from Klizan but held on in the final set to become an unexpected hero.

Captain Leon Smith admitted he was ‘so proud’ of Evans performance and it would encourage healthy competition for future places in the squad.

Smith was also highly complementary of the Braehead crowd and acknowledged they hold such a crucial role:

“It was an amazing support, I think maybe even louder than last time.

The Braehead crowd are really understanding as to what they can do for the team in Davis Cup and it really does make a difference for the players.

It’s exactly what you want from the crowd.”