Dan Evans takes on three French players at once as Great Britain salvage Davis Cup pride

Tony Mogan
Dan Evans

France completed a 4-1 rout over Great Britain on the final day of their Davis Cup quarter-final tie, with Dan Evans' singles match descending into a farce as he took on three members of the opposition at the same time.

Competing without world no. 1 Andy Murray, Great Britain were eliminated from the competition in Rouen on Saturday (8 April) after France took an unassailable 3-0 lead.

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After Kyle Edmund and Dan Evans fell at the hands of Lucas Pouille and Jeremy Chardy in Friday's opening singles matches, doubles pair Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray suffered defeat to Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau on Saturday to end their hopes of a fightback.

That left two dead rubber singles matches to be played on Sunday, leaving Great Britain with the chance to salvage some pride.

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Evans set about doing that in the opening match of the day, sealing a 6-1 win in the opening set after just 21 minutes against 35-year-old Benneteau.

An exhibition feel quickly took over, however. With Evans 3-0 up in the second set, France coach Yannick Noah ordered Mahut, decked out in a pair of smart trousers and shoes, to join Benneteau on court.

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When Evans smashed back a return against the pair, Noah grabbed a racket himself, making it a three-on-one affair against Evans.

Yannick Noah

This time, the 26-year-old Briton conceded, cueing raucous celebrations from the French trio. Normality eventually resumed, with Evans sealed a 6-1 6-2 win to register Britain's first win of the weekend and reducing the French lead to 3-1.

In the final match of the weekend, Kyle Edmund lost to 6-4 6-4 to Jeremy Chardy.

The defeat was the first time Great Britain have lost a Davis Cup match inside the first two days of a round since 2009. With Murray's absence due to an elbow injury, GB's lack of depth was exposed, with team captain Leon Smith eager to address that as soon as possible.

"We want to make sure that we find a few more players both on the men's and women's side that are playing on the main tour," Smith told BBC Sport.

"Everyone knows Andy was going to play this tie, so hopefully when Andy comes in everyone else is stronger and then you go again. We've had a great couple of ties this year, we've absolutely loved it, the spirit's still really good. We just lost a tennis match, that's it."

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