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Davis Cup: Germany win decisive doubles encounter to knock Great Britain out, enter semi-finals

Innsbruck, Austria: Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz beat British doubles pair Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski in two tight sets to send Germany through to the Davis Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

The Germans saved four set points in a tense opening tie-break in the decisive rubber in Innsbruck before edging in front.

Salisbury and Skupski looked destined to force a third set after surging 5-0 ahead in another tie-break, but Krawietz and Puetz won the final seven points to book a clash with Russia or Sweden in Madrid on Saturday.

“It’s great, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” said German captain Michael Kohlmann.

“We had super team chemistry. We had a tough loss today and on Sunday and this team is capable of getting over these unexpected things.”

Dan Evans had swatted Peter Gojowczyk aside 6-2, 6-1 in just 55 minutes to give Britain, playing without brothers Andy and Jamie Murray, the lead.

But Jan-Lennard Struff defeated British number one Cameron Norrie 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-2 to pull Germany level at 1-1.

World number 51 Struff saved two set points in the opener and broke the 12th-ranked Norrie twice in the decider to set up a winner-takes-all showdown in the doubles.

“I’m very happy the way I played today, Cam Norrie is a very tough competitor, who is fighting very hard,” said Struff.

“It’s tough — I had the feeling I had to put the pressure on him — I made it today.”

Norrie fell 4-1 behind in the first set but broke twice and was serving for it at 6-5. Struff, Germany’s top singles player in the absence of Alexander Zverev, promptly hit back to take the set to a tie-break.

Indian Wells champion Norrie led 6-4 only to see Struff reel off the final four points to snatch the first set.

A single break earned Norrie the second set, but Struff kept Germany in the competition by closing out victory with four games in a row.

Earlier, world number 25 Evans won the first four games of the match against Gojowczyk and broke five times to complete a convincing victory.

Gojowczyk, ranked 86th, was given the nod ahead of Dominik Koepfer for the opening rubber but struggled badly on serve and double-faulted four times in two games as Evans raced into a 4-0 lead.

Evans broke three more times in a one-sided second set, rebounding well from a shock loss to Czech world number 143 Tomas Machac in the group stage on Sunday.

Croatia became the first team to reach the semi-finals on Monday by defeating Italy 2-1. They await the winner of Wednesday’s quarter-final between Novak Djokovic’s Serbia and Kazakhstan.

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