Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski were Great Britain’s Davis Cup heroes once again as a team missing Andy Murray defeated Kazakhstan to set up a quarter-final against Germany on Friday.
Captain Leon Smith rested Andy Murray, with Yorkshire’s Kyle Edmund stepping in and stepping up in a 6-3 6-3 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin that was arguably his best performance of the season.
That gave Dan Evans the chance to send Britain through but he was unable to build on a positive start against the unpredictable Alexander Bublik and fell to a 5-7 6-4 6-1 defeat.
With Britain unable to claim one of the two spots reserved for best-placed runners-up because of the number of sets they had lost, it was all or nothing for Jamie Murray and Skupski against Bublik and Kukushkin.
But the British pair, who had excelled against Holland, produced another brilliant performance, showing the value of having a top doubles team in a 6-1 6-4 victory.
Smith and his players can now look forward to a last-eight tie against Germany that on paper appears very tight.
There will be plenty to mull over selection-wise for the Scot, but Edmund’s performance has surely booked his spot in the side along with the doubles pair.
Edmund has had a poor season, dropping from inside the top 20 to 69 in the rankings, and only clinched his spot in the team at the last minute by virtue of a decent run at the Paris Masters.
But he produced an almost flawless display against a player ranked two places higher, striking his big groundstrokes with authority, serving very well and hanging tough under pressure.
Edmund, who defeated Novak Djokovic at the same venue last year, albeit on clay, said: “I’ve been practising really well. I had a good feeling about how I’ve been going about my practice this week and my performance on court.
“I was trying to just transform that on to the match court. I was eager to really put myself out there and play my way. I was happy with what I did.”