|Places in the group stage: Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Valencia Dates: September 13-18|
|Coverage: Live TV coverage of Great Britain matches on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentary and match reports on the website and app|
Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury lost a decisive afternoon doubles match as Great Britain were beaten 2-1 by the United States in their Davis Cup opener.
With the clock ticking to 01:00 BST in Glasgow, the pair lost 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock to settle an agonizing tie.
Britain’s Cameron Norrie had fought back to beat Taylor Fritz to level the tie after Dan Evans lost to Tommy Paul.
GB play two more qualifiers in Glasgow as they aim for the knockout stages in November.
A minute’s silence has been observed at the start of the tie at the Emirates Arena following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s players are wearing black armbands or ribbons for their three Group D ties this week.
Great Britain play the Netherlands on Friday and Kazakhstan on Sunday as they seek one of the two qualifying places in the group.
Each nation plays two singles matches and one doubles match against their group opponents in a best-of-three sets format. There are three other cities hosting groups this week as 16 nations chase places at November’s final in Malaga.
Late finish ‘not ideal’ – Murray
Murray and Salisbury kicked off their match at 22:00 BST after the previous two matches went to three sets, with Murray saying the late start and subsequent 00:58 finish was “not ideal”.
“There’s probably half as many people at the end of the game as there were at the beginning,” the 35-year-old said. “It’s a bit of a shame because, well, they missed a big game.
“It’s certainly not because they didn’t want to stay. If you have kids here, you can’t stay with them. [If] you have to take a bus or train home, [you] can’t do it.”
Murray and Salisbury took a 3-0 lead in the first set, but then lost three straight games before making the big breakthrough in a long 12th game that went to six-two, taking the set on their third set point when Sock scored. Murray.
Murray and Salisbury had the advantage of playing Salisbury’s regular doubles partner Ram, with whom he had retained the US Open men’s doubles title last week.
But of course this goes both ways and in the second set it was the Americans who found some rhythm.
After trailing 3-1, Sock and Ram only let the Brits take seven more points in the set as they forced a deciding set, which they won with Ram hitting the net after broken by 6-5.
There have been six group games so far this week in Glasgow and all have gone to three sets, with play on both days past midnight.
Former world number one Murray said tennis in general needs to think about the issue of late finals, saying it would be difficult for the US team to play again against Kazakhstan on Thursday.
“Obviously we saw that at the US Open even last week,” he added. “It’s something that tennis needs to think about a little bit. I don’t think it looks that professional.”
The crowd cheers Norrie up, but it’s not enough
The day had started with a high-quality match between Evans and Paul, which was as close a match as their world rankings suggested, with the Briton ranked just four places above his American opponent Paul, in the 25 in the world.
Evans was beaten 6-4 4-6 6-4, meaning Norrie knew he had to win his match against Fritz to keep Britain in the tie.
Norrie had been out of action for much of the match until he took control of a second-set tie-break and rode the momentum to win 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5.
The world number eight had quickly found himself 5-1 down double as the first set slipped away and he paid the price with 12 unforced errors to his opponent’s four.
An early break in the second gave Norrie a 3-0 lead, but then he gifted Fritz a break with a wild forehand.
As music was not played in the arena as a mark of respect during the period of national mourning, it was up to the fans to generate the atmosphere that could ignite Norrie.
And they did.
Football-style chants and drums played their part and the Brit raised his own decibels with a roar as he defended a break point to hold at 6-5, then carried the momentum into the tie -break that he dominated before serving. victory after a break in the ninth game of the deciding set.
“Honestly, I owe it all to the crowd. You guys are amazing,” said Norrie, whose father David is from Glasgow and was in the stands watching.
“I loved the atmosphere.”
Murray and Evans noted that the lack of music made the ending changes much quieter than usual, with Evans saying that “something was missing” and Murray adding that “it’s not easy for a crowd to keep a amazing atmosphere for 10 hours.”
And while the crowd did their best to cheer Murray and Salisbury well into the night, the dream start to their home group stage was not to be.
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