Britain defeated Spain
Despite their advantage, the Brits still had some work to do on Sunday when Harriet Dart went down to Paula Badosa 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (7-5), 1-6.
Dart defied her world ranking of No.98 to push Badosa all the way, coming within two points of victory in a thrilling second set tie-breaker.
But, when it mattered most, the No.13 steeled herself and swept the third set, bringing Spain back into the tie.
With Nadal waiting in the wings for a potential deciding fifth rubber, much depended on Ramos-Vinolas’ performance against Evans as a replacement for Pablo Carreno Busta.
After a poor first set, the Spaniard roared back in the second, and Evans, who had a disastrous first-round loss to Australia’s Jason Kubler, seemed nervous going into the final.
However, the world No.27 earned a crucial break in the seventh game and eventually served out the match for a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory, rendering the mixed doubles a dead rubber.
“I don’t feel like my strongest, but I have a tremendous team behind me,” Evans added.
“It helps that it’s not an ordinary tournament; it’s difficult to give up when you’ve got all that behind you.”
Petra Kvitova defeated Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-2 earlier in the competition to give the Czechs a 3-0 lead in their game against Germany.
After Oscar Otte upset Dalibor Svrcina, Siegemund and Alexander Zverev paired up for a consolation win over Marie Bouzkova and Jiri Lehecka in the doubles.
Following their opening round-robin loss to the United States, the Czechs have one win and two losses from two ties and will face Germany next in Group C.
Alexandar Lazarov and Isabella Shinikova of Bulgaria won the first-ever United Cup concluding mixed doubles match in Perth, saving a match point to defeat Belgium’s David Goffin and Elise Mertens 3-2 in Group A.
Casper Ruud defeated Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-2 to secure Norway’s lone victory in a 4-1 Group E loss to Brazil. In Group B, Poland defeated Kazakhstan 3-1, with Hubert Hurkacz and Magda Linette winning their matches in Brisbane.
Croatia eliminated Argentina’s prospects of advancing from Perth, winning 3-0 and handing them their second straight Group F defeat.
The United Cup is being held in three cities, with the two group winners from each venue competing to determine who advances to the final four.
The fourth semi-finalist will be the runner-up from the “city final” with the best record from their three matches. The final will be held in Sydney on January 8.
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