Cameron Norrie defeated Rafael Nadal for the first time, and Katie Swan defeated Nuria Parrizas-Diaz to give the United Kingdom a 2-0 lead over Spain in their United Cup group stage match.
Norrie rallied from a set down to defeat the 22-time Grand Slam champion 3-6 6-3 6-4 at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena.
The 27-year-old had previously lost all four meetings with Nadal.
“He bet me easily the last few times, so it’s a great way to end the year for me,” said Norrie.
“I was thinking I’d never won a set before against him and I came out firstly wanting to do that.
“I had to stay super patient. It was a super physical match and I enjoyed it. It was huge to get through that one and finally beat him. It was a crazy match.”
The 36-year-old Nadal cruised through the first set, but Norrie broke Nadal’s serve in the sixth game of the second set and held his own to tie the match.
Norrie, ranked 14th in the world, broke early in the final set and saved two break points while leading 3-2 before serving out for victory.
When the first Grand Slam of the year begins on January 16 in Melbourne, Nadal will attempt to defend his Australian Open title.
“All credit to him that he did a lot of things very well,” said Nadal.
“There’s a way to improve but I have time before the Australian Open starts in two weeks.”
Swan, 23, came back from a set down to defeat Parrizas-Diaz 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Swan, who is ranked 75 places lower than the 31-year-old Parrizas-Diaz, delivered a confident performance.
Britain needs one win from their remaining three group stage matches against Spain to advance to the knockout stages after defeating Australia 3-0 in their first match.