GB knocked out of United Cup by US after Dan Evans loses to Frances Tiafoe

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Great Britain missed out on pulling off a third upset in the United Cup after losing out to a star-studded United States line-up in their Sydney play-off.

Victory would have given them passage to the semi-finals of the team event having previously knocked out a Rafael Nadal-led Spain and hosts Australia in a tough group.

Against the US, they started brightly as Katie Swan pushed top-10 player Madison Keys to three sets before eventually missing out 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Cameron Norrie, who had previously beaten Nadal for the first time in his career, then upstaged world No9 Taylor Fritz in another tight-fought match, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

On paper, Harriet Dart had the toughest of prospects against Jessica Pegula, who began the year ranked third in the world, and the Briton struggled to get into the match, winning just two games for a 6-2, 6-0.

It meant Britain, captained by Tim Henman, needed to win their final singles match between Dan Evans and Frances Tiafoe to keep the tie alive.

Tiafoe had climbed into the top 20 following arguably the best season of his career in 2022 but it was Evans who dominated the early exchanges to win the opening set despite his lower ranking.

He had two break points to go 6-5 up in the second set and serve for the match but Tiafoe rallied to hold and broke Evans’ subsequent service game with a wonderfully placed lob to force the decider.

That elevated a pumped-up Tiafoe, who broke again in that third set for a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory and an unassailable 3-1 lead.

The British pairing of Evans and Dart then lost the mixed doubles - a dead rubber - 6-4, 6-4 to Fritz and Pegula.