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Davis Cup 2023 results: Great Britain beat Switzerland 2-1 to strengthen hopes of Final Eight spot

Great Britain strengthened their bid to reach the Davis Cup Finals knockout stage as Dan Evans and Neal Skupski secured a tight win over Switzerland.

Evans and Skupski won 6-3 6-3 against Swiss pair Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Stricker in the deciding doubles.

In a best-of-three tie, Andy Murray won in the singles - later revealing he was missing his gran's funeral - before Wawrinka beat Cameron Norrie to level.

Britain can secure a spot in the final eight when they play France on Sunday.

After also beating Australia in their opening Group B tie on Wednesday, the simplest method for Britain to qualify is by beating the French and claiming three wins from their three ties.

Asked how far Britain can go, captain Leon Smith said: "Honestly, I think we've only got to get ready for Sunday, it's a massive match.

"[Qualification] will go down to the wire, we need a full house and a lot of noise."

Four nations - Britain, Australia, France and Switzerland - are playing in the group-stage event held at Manchester's AO Arena.

They all play each other once in a round-robin format, with the top two countries going through to the knockout stage - known as the 'Final Eight' - in Malaga in November.

As it stands, Britain could also qualify even if they lose to France. The Swiss, who are now eliminated, beating Australia on Saturday would make that scenario possible.

Britain are top of the table with each nation having played twice, having earned their second win of the week against the Swiss on Friday.

Former world number one Murray, 36, fought back to beat Swiss debutant Leandro Riedi 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-4 on a difficult day where he became emotional on court when dedicating his win to his gran Ellen.

Murray's win meant Cameron Norrie had the chance to seal victory, but the British number one lost 7-5 6-4 to three-time major champion Wawrinka.

However, Evans and Wimbledon champion Skupski played superbly to win the doubles and spark jubilant celebrations in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

"We're using the whole squad and that's really important - everyone has played their part," Smith added.

"We knew it would be tough today. Andy did a fantastic job in our first match, Stan played incredible against Cam, and I hoped for a quick doubles - that's what we got."

Murray digs deep against unexpected opponent

Britain clinched victory in Wednesday's opening tie against Australia when debutant Jack Draper and Dan Evans - picked ahead of Murray and Norrie based on their current form - won their singles matches.

In another interesting move on Friday, British captain Leon Smith decided to go with Murray and Norrie against the Swiss as he utilised the whole of a talented squad.

The majority of the home crowd, who watched Murray play in Manchester for the first time since 2004, probably did not expect the former world number one to be pushed so hard by 152nd-ranked Riedi.

But, as they have seen so often in the past, Murray had to dig deep into all of his vast physical and mental reserves to secure the victory.

Riedi's selection ahead of Dominic Stricker, who recently reached the US Open fourth round, was a surprise to the British team.

After Murray was unable to convert any of four set points in an 84-minute opener, Riedi grew in confidence and converted his first set point with a blistering forehand winner in the tie-break.

Andy Murray celebrates during Davis Cup tie with Switzerland
Andy Murray, who helped Britain win the Davis Cup in 2015, has only lost three of his 36 singles matches in the event

Murray's exasperation showed as Riedi frustrated his illustrious opponent by returning serves aggressively and doing damage with his forehand.

But, after the pair traded three successive breaks in the second set, the Briton managed to extend the rallies and served out to level the match.

Murray continued to show his frustration when he allowed Riedi to break back early in the deciding set, but regrouped to break again for 3-2 and finally clinched victory after three hours and 10 minutes.

"We were expecting Stricker to play, we hadn't spoken about Riedi at all, so it was a surprise when that changes," Murray said.

"The nature of the way he was going about things made it an uncomfortable match for me."

Norrie has been struggling for the consistent form which took him into the world's top 10 last year but was hoping to show a strong response after being recalled to face Wawrinka.

However, his current fragility was illustrated by the way he was edged out by 38-year-old Wawrinka in the decisive moments of both sets.

Norrie was broken to love as Wawrinka swung a tight opener his way and the Briton relinquished a 4-2 lead in the second.

"Leon felt like I was a good match-up with Stan. But he served well and hit his spots, credit to him," said Norrie.

"With this format you can lose a match and still go through, so hopefully the boys can get it done."

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