Cameron Norrie drew Great Britain level in their United Cup tie against the USA as he edged past Taylor Fritz in Sydney.
However, American women’s No 1 Jessica Pegula would immediately restore the American advantage.
After the ‘city final’ had begun with Katie Swan being defeated by Madison Keys, Norrie got the better of Fritz across three sets over two hours and 15 minutes at Ken Rosewall Arena.
The British number one made the decisive break in the ninth game of the third set as he triumphed 6-4 5-7 6-4.
Pegula, won 6-2, 6-0 over Dart in just 57 minutes, edging the Americans ahead and giving them a chance to snatch the tie before the mixed doubles match
“I think Madi really set the tone with her match,” Pegula said. “I think I did everything really well today. I could feel it. Some days you come out firing and you feel really good. I was honestly trying to settle myself down because I was seeing the ball really well today.”
GB had earlier gone 1-0 down as Keys came from behind to beat Swan 2-6 6-3 6-4.
Dan Evans faces a must-win match against Frances Tiafoe with the tie on the line.
If that leaves the score at 2-2, it will go down to a mixed doubles contest, with Dart and Evans set to play Pegula and Tiafoe.
Elsewhere, Stefanos Tsitsipas maintained his perfect start to the 2023 season, coming through a topsy-turvy encounter with Borna Coric 6-0, 6-7(4), 7-5.
“Whenever I play [Borna], it’s definitely not easy, but I keep reminding myself that it doesn’t get better than this and his level of tennis is going to improve my level of tennis,” said Tsitsipas after the match.
“So yeah, I’ve lost some, now I’ve won some too. It’s important to get matches against opponents like this that raise the bar high. They require you to find ways to win, even when you’re not feeling your best.”
The World No 4 came out feeling pressure after Donna Vekic defeated Despina Papamichail to give Team Croatia a 1-0 lead.
“I was just trying to continue that momentum that I built from the very first moment when I entered the court.
“He responded very fiercely in that particular moment, so I just had to continue with the way I fight, with the way I do things, and I’m so, so glad… That last shot was the moment I was really looking forward to and a very good down-the-line backhand in fact, it surprised me. What a relief.”
Greek Women’s No 1 Maria Sakkari takes on Petra Martic in the third match of the Greece vs Croatia tie.
Italy’s Matteo Berrettini also continued his incredible start to the new season when he earned a critical win against Hubert Hurkacz.
The triumph gave Italy a 2-1 lead against Team Poland, and put them within one win of a spot at the Final Four of the mixed-teams competition in Sydney.
“I’m really happy for the performance, for my teammates obviously,” Berrettini said. “I think the level was really high. Hubi is a great player. We fought in the past, I’m sure we’re going to fight in the future as well. So I’m really, really happy. A little bit tired, but really happy.”
The winner advances to the semi-finals that start on Friday, as will the best runner-up from the three city finals, meaning there are no dead rubbers.
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