|Venue: Pueblo Viejo Country Club, Cota, Colombia Dates: 3-4 February|
|Coverage: Watch live coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button and the BBC Sport website & app (20:00 GMT on Friday (21:00 Red Button), 17:00 GMT (17:30 Red Button) on Saturday)|
Dan Evans was unable to give Great Britain a winning start to their Davis Cup Finals qualifier as he lost to Colombia’s Nicolas Mejia in three sets.
The 253rd-ranked Mejia, accustomed to the challenging conditions in Bogota and strongly backed by the partisan home support, beat Evans 6-2 2-6 6-4.
Cameron Norrie will seek to level the best-of-five rubbers contest against Nicolas Barrientos later on Friday.
Ten-time winners GB are bidding to reach September’s group stage.
Captain Leon Smith claimed the tie in Colombia, played on clay using the pressureless balls required to cope with an altitude of 2,566m, was the “most complicated” his side could have drawn.
That proved to be the case as the decision to arrive a week early in preparation was not enough to help British number two Evans, who had said on Thursday that the team must be prepared to win “ugly” at the Pueblo Viejo Country Club.
With the ball flying fast off the racquet in the thinner air, Mejia – the hosts’ highest-ranked player after world number 81 Daniel Elahi Galan withdrew with injury – delighted the home crowd as he opened with three successive aces and followed up a love hold with a break of serve.
Despite conceding the opening set with another loss of serve, Evans asserted himself early in the second and an efficient double break brought him level.
Mejia was able to come through four break points at the start of a close decider, while Evans resisted two to hold for 4-4.
But a costly double fault by the Briton two games later handed his significantly lower-ranked opponent two match points – and the arena erupted in celebration as the home favourite sunk to his knees after taking his second opportunity.
It meant Evans handed over to Norrie with the British number one needing victory to send GB into the second day on level terms, as Smith’s squad aim to secure a place in the competition’s 16-team group stage.
World number 30 Evans returns to action on Saturday for his first ever Davis Cup doubles contest, plus a closing singles meeting with Barrientos.
Follow coverage of Great Britain’s qualifying match on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app.