Great Britain seal spot in Davis Cup quarter-finals

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski put Great Britain spot into Davis Cup quarter-finals with victory over Kazakhstan in decider… and brother Andy watches on from courtside after being rested

  • Jamie Murray and partner Neal Skupski emerged 6-1 6-4 victors on Thursday 
  • Great Britain duo faced Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin  
  • The victory set up a tie with Germany for a spot in the Davis Cup semi-finals 
  • Leon Smith may decide to recall Andy Murray after the Scot had been rested

Andy Murray was reduced to the role of courtside spectator as his brother Jamie and partner Neal Skupski put Great Britain through to the quarter finals of the Davis Cup.

The Scot and the scouser combined to beat Kazakhstan’s leading duo Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 6-4 in a deciding rubber to clinch a 2-1 victory.

By finishing top of their group they will now meet Germany on Friday evening for a place in the semi-finals of the self-styled World Cup of Tennis. It is not football, but GB v Germany always has a certain ring to it.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski handed Great Britain a quarter-final spot at the Davis Cup

Leon Smith will have to make a decision about whether to bring back Andy Murray, who was benched after his laboured victory on Wednesday against Holland’s Tallon Griekspoor, which took nearly three hours.

The Captain has always had it in mind to rest Murray for one match, but as the player admitted himself he is not satisfied with his levels of fitness after coming back after a break.

The debutant Skupski again impressed under the pressure of playing the deciding rubber after Kyle Edmund – subbing for Murray – had put GB 1-0 up before Dan Evans was beaten by the mercurial talent of Bublik 5-7 6-4 6-1.

Andy Murray had been present courtside after being rested for the tie by captain Leon Smith

The Great Britain duo emerged 6-1 6-4 victors over Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin

Friday’s match will take place on the secondary arena, and it will be interesting to see how many of the thousand or so GB fans will stay on for the match, having provided a supportive atmosphere with the Kazakhs also in full voice.

Earlier Edmund had played his best match for more than a year in thrashing Kazakh number one Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-3, raising questions about why he had not been selected the day before.

The long-time British number one has had a poor season that saw him slip to number 69 in the world but he looked way better than that in breaking the flat-hitting Kukushkin three times in an impressively routine victory.

The Caja Magica, which is at altitude, is clearly to his liking as it is the place where he beat Novak Djokovic, albeit on clay, at the Madrid Masters. It will be difficult to leave him out on Friday after this.

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