Norrie stuns Bautista Agut to level tie – highlights & report
|Spain v Great Britain – Davis Cup 2018|
|Venue: Puente Romano Tennis Club, Marbella, Spain Date: 2-4 February|
|Coverage: Live across BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.|
Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie came from two sets down to stun Roberto Bautista Agut and level the Davis Cup World Group tie with Spain at 1-1.
Norrie, ranked 114, fought brilliantly to win 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 against the world number 23 on clay in Marbella.
Earlier, Liam Broady performed well but lost 6-3 6-4 7-6 (8-6) to world number 21 Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot face Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno Busta in Saturday’s doubles rubber.
The match will be live on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website from 13:00 GMT.
After his match, Norrie said: “In the fifth set I went to serve and there was an eruption of noise and I thought, this is an incredible experience. I’m so happy. Best day of my tennis career, 100%.
“I couldn’t be happier with my performance today. At the end I just tried to take it point by point and focus on my routines. I was just the better competitor today and that showed. It was an incredible match – I’m going to struggle to sleep tonight for sure.”
Spain looked certain to be heading into the doubles with a 2-0 lead when Bautista Agut, 29, broke to lead 3-2 in the third set. But 22-year-old Norrie played the match of his life to produce an astonishing upset.
He broke three times in the third set and twice each in the fourth and fifth as Bautista Agut wilted under a Norrie onslaught, with the Briton hitting 60 winners – twice as many as his opponent.
GB captain Leon Smith said: “At two sets down, you’re thinking, just keep fighting, keep pride and passion. It’s amazing to see Cam, as a rookie, a debutant, actually wear the opponent down. We’ve had a lot of good moments in Davis Cup and this is one of them right now.
“I’m almost a bit lost for words. All you ask for is that they give their best effort and fight like hell. Cam fully deserves every bit of praise he gets.”
Inspired Norrie ‘chuffed’ with victory
Britain appeared to be facing mission impossible without the injured Andy Murray and Australian Open semi-finalist Kyle Edmund, who was not chosen for the opening singles rubbers because of a hip injury.
Spain are without world number one Rafael Nadal, but the five players in their squad are all ranked in the top 40 and they have won 27 of their past 28 Davis Cup ties on clay. Norrie and world number 165 Broady are both making their debuts in the competition.
Norrie was born in South Africa to British parents, moved to New Zealand aged three and then came to London at 16 before attending university in Texas. He only turned professional last year and lost in the second round of qualifying for the Australian Open last month.
His inexperience was not apparent as he mixed his game up and established a 4-2 first-set lead, choosing the right moments to come to the net and unsettle Bautista Agut.
However, the Spaniard won seven games in a row to take control, with the Norrie errors mounting.
From 3-0 down, the Briton did get back on serve in the second set but was immediately broken again and Bautista Agut closed out the set.
Norrie was twice a break down in the third set but won the final four games from 3-2 down, with a backhand return sealing the decisive break in the eighth game.
The Briton dominated thereafter, outfoxing Bautista Agut with well-timed drop shots, excellent volleys and winners down the line off both wings.
Norrie had 21 winners in the fourth set alone but had to save three break points when serving 1-0 down in the final set. Once he did so, he pulled clear to secure one of the great British Davis Cup victories in four hours and one minute.
‘Game on’ – reaction to Norrie’s win
Andy Murray: That’s one of the most amazing wins/results/upsets I’ve seen in a long time on a tennis court. Well done to Cam Norrie and all the team. Broady was excellent too.
Kyle Edmund: What a effort by Cam Norrie. Couldn’t have represented the shirt any better with pride, passion and fighting spirit! Pumped for the team and good effort by Liam Broady too in his first match.
Jamie Murray: The Schnozz! What a performance! Biggest ever win by a Brit in Davis Cup?
Dominic Inglot: What a result by Cam Norrie. Massive! And the Brit fans made it like a home tie! GAME ON!
Broady impresses but ‘gutted’ he didn’t win
While he could not produce an upset of his own, Broady also impressed with his composure and positive attitude as he pushed fellow left-hander Ramos-Vinolas hard in the opening match of the tie.
He served for the third set at 6-5 and had a set point in the tie-break that followed, but Ramos-Vinolas, 30, closed out victory for the hosts when Broady was stretched too far by a forehand return.
“I’m pleased I did myself proud and I fought to the end, but I’m absolutely gutted I didn’t win,” Broady told BBC Sport.
“The thing to remember is that these guys are only human. I know they’ve got fantastic records on the clay but they are beatable.”
Following Saturday’s doubles, the reverse singles matches are on Sunday. British captain Smith could still include world number 26 Edmund, whose favourite surface is clay, if his hip has improved enough by then.
Former British Davis Cup player Jamie Baker on BBC Sport
This puts a whole different spin on the tie.
The doubles is a 50-50 match and potentially Britain are slight favourites. Then going into Sunday, Kyle Edmund gets an extra day’s rest.