Germany beat Brits, reach Davis Cup semis
Great Britain's Davis Cup campaign has come to an end in the quarter-finals with defeat by Germany in Innsbruck.
Leon Smith's side were looking for a repeat of their victory over the same opposition in the last eight two years ago and made the perfect start when Dan Evans thumped Peter Gojowczyk 6-2 6-1.
But Cameron Norrie suffered his first defeat of the week, going down 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-2 to Jan-Lennard Struff, and Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz won a tense deciding doubles rubber 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-5) against Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski.
"This is an incredible team achievement," Krawietz said.
"We have a great atmosphere in the team from day one."
Germany will travel to Madrid for the semi-finals on Saturday while Britain head home and must win a qualifying tie in early March to book their place in next year's finals.
The tie was once again played behind closed doors but both teams provided vocal support, particularly during the doubles clash, which could scarcely have been tighter.
Krawietz and Puetz were unbeaten having got the better of Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic in their group win over Serbia and they were marginally the better team in the opening set, taking it in a tiebreaker.
Britain looked on track to force a decider when they led 5-0 in the second set breaker only for Germany to win seven points in a row, sparking huge celebrations.
"We have done everything to win," Struff said.
"We hope our journey goes on and the next goal is to win the semi-final."
Germany have won the Davis Cup three times but not since 1993. In their first semi-final since 2007, they will meet either Sweden or the team from Russia, while Croatia will face either Serbia or Kazakhstan in the other semi.
"Everyone is gutted, this is a tough day to swallow," Britain team captain Smith said.
"It could have gone either way, but it wasn't to be today. They gave their best effort but sometimes that is not enough, and Germany deserves to go through."
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