Davis Cup: Huesler, Zverev win to leave Switzerland-Germany level; Norrie keeps GB in hunt

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Alexandeor Zverev picked an opportune moment to record his second competitive win in eight months, defeating Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-1 to draw Germany level with Switzerland in their Davis Cup Qualifier in Trier, Germany.

In Bogota, it was all square for Great Britain and hosts Colombia after Colombia’s Nicolas Mejia earned his first Top 100 win with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 result against Daniel Evans, Cameron Norrie leveled the tie at 1-1 by beating Nicolas Barrientos 6-2, 7-5, according to information available on daviscup.com website. The focus was on Zverev in the Switzerland v Germany tie.

Zverev, whose return to competitive action after ankle ligament surgery yielded three defeats from four matches in Australia at the turn of the month, looked much more like his old self in a commanding victory over the three-time Grand Slam champion.

The world No. 14 saw off Wawrinka in an hour and 36 minutes to cancel out Marc-Andrea Huesler’s battling 2-6 6-2 6-4 triumph over Oscar Otte earlier in the day.

“I think it’s important to go into tomorrow’s ties with a 1-1 [scoreline],” said Zverev. “Obviously I’m very happy with my game. I think that was the best match since my injury. It’s going in a positive way, and I hope I can continue progressing,” he was quoted as saying in a report on the ATP Tour website.

Wawrinka had lost all four of his previous meetings with Zverev and was unable to break that duck on Friday night.

“I think I played a lot more aggressively and maybe Stan’s spirit went down a little bit, but in the end, I picked up my level and I’m very happy with that,” said Zverev.

The Germans will look to Andrea Mies and Tim Puetz on Saturday to give them an all-important 2-1 advantage ahead of the reverse singles later in the day.

Ugo Humbert overcame Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-2 to earn a much-needed point for France on Friday in the Davis Cup Qualifiers, levelling the score at 1-1 against Hungary after Zsombor Piros stunned Benjamin Bonzi 7-6(4) 6-3 in the opening rubber.

The score being level in this tie might not come as a surprise, but how both teams earned a point was a little unexpected. First, World No. 182 Piros pulled off a stunning upset to topple Bonzi, before Humbert came out fighting in his Davis Cup debut against Fucsovics to leave the tie finely balanced.

In Bogota, Mejia clinched his milestone victory with a break in the final game against Evans, a blazing backhand passing shot sparking wild celebrations in the Colombian capital. After the competitors split a pair of one-sided sets, the 22-year-old fended off three break points in the first game of the decider before piling on the pressure late.

While he could not convert on two break chances as Evans held in a marathon game to level the set at 4-4, Mejias responded with a love hold before clinching victory with his third break of the two-hour, 31-minute contest.

In the day’s second match, Norrie coped with the pressure of the 1-0 deficit and the volume of the home crowd, claiming an early break against Barrientos to settle British nerves. The British No. 1 again scored an immediate break to open the second set, but the Colombian snapped back with his first break of the match.

Barrientos then created five break points on return at 1-2, but he could not break Norrie’s dogged resistance. The Colombian earned another break chance at 2-3 but was again denied, and ultimately paid the price when a missed volley handed Norrie a crucial late break in the set’s 11th game.

With the match on his racquet, Norrie finished the job to earn Great Britain its first point in the tie.

SERBIA LEADS IN NORWAY

Contrasting wins for Laslo Djere and Miomir Kecmanovic left Serbia 2-0 up after Friday’s Davis Cup Qualifier play in Oslo.

After Kecmanovic cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 triumph against Norway’s Andreja Petrovic, Djere scored a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(8) win against Viktor Durasovic, the stand-in No. 1 for the Norwegians after Casper Ruud’s late withdrawal.

World No. 65 Djere saved a match point in the decisive tie-break before clinching victory on his third chance. The Serbian started well, not conceding a break point until the seventh game of set two, but found himself in a third set as Durasovic battled back with the help of his home crowd. Djere led 5-2 in set three but was dragged into a final-set tie-break after another surge by his opponent.

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