SYDNEY, Australia -- Spurred on by comeback wins from Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan, 15th-seeded Great Britain took a stunning 2-0 lead over 4th-seeded Spain on Day 3 of the United Cup. Team GB is now a win from taking control of Group D, having defeated Australia 3-2 in their opening tie.
Opening up the tie, Norrie had never won a set in his four previous meetings against Rafael Nadal before their match at the United Cup. However, the World No. 14 turned the tables Saturday when he overcame the 36-year-old 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a statement win to give Great Britain a 1-0 lead.
In front of a capacity Ken Rosewall Arena crowd, the 27-year-old timed the ball cleanly off both wings, hitting through Nadal with his flat backhand to triumph in two hours and 45 minutes.
Inspired by her compatriot's efforts, No.145 Katie Swan took to the court and tallied her first Top 100 win since defeating No.48 Sloane Stephens on the grass of Bad Homburg last summer. The 23-year-old rallied from a set down to defeat No.70 Nuria Parrizas Diaz 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 to tally her first United Cup win.
Parrizas Diaz came out firing in the first set. With her forehand finding good length and speed through the court, the Spaniard rolled through the opening set with the help of 10 winners on her forehand side.
"You're gonna get your chance," Captain Henman said to Swan late in the first set. "She's playing phenomenal tennis and you've hung in there. Strong service game here, then she'll be saying wait a minute, Rafa's in the box, I gotta win this."
Swan turned the match around. She hit just four unforced errors in the second set, while Parrizas Diaz's form came back to earth. The Spaniard hit just two forehand winners in the set while hitting 17 unforced errors.
The trend continued in the decider. Unable to rediscover her blistering level, Parrizas Diaz struggled to put any pressure on the young Brit. Swan raced to the finish line to cap off an inspired day for the underdogs.
The task now falls on Spain's Paula Badosa and Pablo Carreno Busta to level the tie Sunday. Playing in the No.1 position for Spain, Badosa will face Harriet Dart, looking to avenge her loss to the Brit at the Billie Jean King Cup last fall. Carreno Busta will face Daniel Evans.
If the tie is level at 2-2 after singles, mixed doubles will determine the winner.