Dan Evans, captain Leon Smith helping British Davis Cup team build its own atmosphere in Austrian lockdown.

A national lockdown has left Davis Cup teams playing with no fans at the ties in Innsbruck, but the British team is creating some atmosphere of its own.

Great Britain began its campaign by beating France 2-1, with Dan Evans kicking things off by notching a win against Adrian Mannarino. The British No. 2 didn't have a crowd cheering him on, but captain Leon Smith and the rest of the team helped spur Evans, who told press, "I find it hard with no atmosphere, so I had to really use myself, use the bench, use Leon to keep pushing, keep myself focused and get an atmosphere."

And Smith has been a big part of building the team motivation and getting them pumped up in the unusual conditions, added Evans.

"Talking of Leon, he is such a great captain, that’s why he’s been in the job so long," said the No.25-ranked player.

"I’ve never been a captain, but I imagine the beauty of a good captain in sport is to know when to say stuff and know when not to. He gets it right and prepares the team, which has five different characters, amazingly well."


The team has also been having fun off the court, with British No. 1 Cameron Norrie, who also won his singles to secure the tie against France, taking on Evans in his team challenge. The line-up also includes Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski in doubles.

"Norrie has done it [grown a moustache] but the others are too self-conscious," Evans said. "The last time Noz [Norrie] and I were on the team, we did it and won so I said, 'Oh, come on, let’s go.' Cam needs to have a proper shave, though. He has not done it properly yet so he’s having a shave tonight, but at least he has got one going on. The others are too boring and self-conscious."

Britain will face the Czech Republic next in their second tie of the group rounds.