Davis Cup Finals 2019: Great Britain through to quarter-finals with Kazakhstan win

Jamie Murray of Great Britain and Neal Skupski of Great Britain talks against Rafael Nadal of Spain and Feliciano Lopez of Spain during Day 6 of the 2019 Davis Cup at La Caja Magica on November 23, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (ALTERPHOTOS/Manu R.B./Sipa USA)

Great Britain beat Kazakhstan 2-1 to top Group E and reach the quarter-finals of the 2019 Davis Cup Finals at the Caja Magica, Madrid.

Captain Leon Smith brought Kyle Edmund in for Andy Murray, who struggled physically in his win against Tallon Griekspoor in the 2-1 victory against the Netherlands.

Edmund got Britain off to a great start with a 6-3 6-3 win against world no.67 Mikhail Kukushkin, saving all four of the break points he faced.

Kazakhstan’s explosive world no.57 Alexander Bublik then made it 1-1 with a 5-7 6-4 6-1 victory against Dan Evans.

A turning point was Evans missing a simple volley at 4-4, 40:40 in the second set, leading to Bublik breaking serve and taking the set 6-4.

The Kazakhstani raced through the final set, winning it 6-1 to send the tie to a deciding doubles match.

Britain’s Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski then defeated Bublik and Kukushkin 6-1 6-4 in a fairly routine contest, securing a 2-1 result for Great Britain.

The doubles pair have been key to Britain’s round robin success, having also won the deciding rubber against the Netherlands.

The Brits face Germany, who also topped their group with a 2-0 record, in the quarter-finals on November 22.

Germany will likely field world no.79 Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is unbeaten in the Madrid finals, and world no.35 Jan-Lennard Struff, in singles.

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, ranked 9 and 11 in doubles respectively, make up a formidable German doubles team.

Leon Smith may restore Murray to the team in place of British number one Evans, who is yet to win at the event.

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