Australia's Tomic edges Britain's Evans to level semi

Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:36pm EDT
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GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) - An exhausted Bernard Tomic fought off a tenacious fightback by Britain's lowly-ranked Dan Evans to draw Australia level at 1-1 after the first day of their Davis Cup semi-final on Friday.

Australian number one Tomic won the day's second singles 6-3 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 6-4 but he looked out on his feet towards the end after being rocked on his heels by the dogged Evans.

World number three Andy Murray had given the hosts a dream start as they bid for their first Davis Cup final spot since 1978, playing sublimely to thrash teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3 6-0 6-3 in front of a packed house in Glasgow.

The winners will face Belgium or Argentina in the final.

Scot Murray, 28, has been the mainstay of Britain's rise from the lower levels of the Davis Cup pyramid in the last four years, and is likely to play Saturday's crucial doubles rubber.

It was always on the cards that the tie would be poised at 1-1 after Friday's play, especially with surprise pick Evans, ranked down at 300, playing against world number 23 Tomic.

After being initially outclassed and falling two sets behind, Evans dug deep, breaking Tomic's serve at 3-5 in the third when the Australian served for the match and eventually clinching a tiebreak when Tomic volleyed wide.

Both players were staggering after some grueling rallies on the slow indoor court in the fourth and Tomic was left gasping when he again failed to serve out the match at 5-2.

At 5-4, however, with Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt pumping his fist courtside, Tomic held his nerve and claimed victory when Evans sent a backhand wide.   Continued...

Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates winning his match. Great Britain v Australia - Davis Cup Semi Final - Emirates Arena, Glasgow, Scotland - 18/9/15.  Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff