GLASGOW: Andy and Jamie Murray kept Great Britain’s hopes of retaining their Davis Cup title alive as the brothers defeated Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer in four sets in the doubles rubber of their semi-final on Saturday.
Leading 2-0 from Friday’s singles, Argentina captain Daniel Orsanic selected Del Potro alongside Mayer instead of his usual partner Federico Delbonis as they looked to wrap up victory early.
However, the tactic failed to pay off as world number two Andy and his older brother Jamie secured a thrilling 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory in just under three hours on the hard court of the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
Argentina are looking to reach their fourth final in 10 years but will have to wait until Sunday’s reverse singles rubbers to try and claim the point they need for a place in the final against either Croatia or France.
Kyle Edmund looks likely to face Del Potro in the decisive rubber as Great Britain attempt to defend the competition they won in Ghent last year, with Andy Murray favourite to defeat Guido Pella in the first reverse singles on Sunday.
With his side losing both of Friday’s singles, it was no surprise to see British captain Leon Smith pick Andy alongside Jamie instead of Dan Evans as he opted for the pairing who secured victory in last year’s final against Belgium.
However, after his five-hour and seven-minute epic win against Murray on Friday, the expectation was that Del Potro, still working his way back into the game following wrist surgery, would take the day off ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles.
The gamble to pick the 27-year-old didn’t look like paying off with the Argentine pairing initially looking like strangers on the court.
It was Jamie, who claimed Grand Slam glory in both the Australian and US Open doubles finals this year, and younger sibling Andy, showing no signs of fatigue, that looked more comfortable in the doubles environment as they helped the Brits race into a five-game lead without reply in the first set before claiming it 6-1 in just 26 minutes.
Their good work seemed to come undone in the second game of the following set as Argentina immediately broke to take a 4-1 lead before serving out to take the set 6-3.
The third set went with serve until the seventh game when Argentina moved in front with a break as Andy struggled with his first serve.
Argentina’s joy was short-lived, however, as Britain broke back immediately as they won three games in a row with a clever return down the line from Jamie sealing the set.
There was nothing to separate the sides in the fourth set which went with serve until the tenth game where, in a repeat of the third, the Murrays broke at the crucial moment to claim victory.
It gives Great Britain hope of pulling off a repeat of their win over Russia in April 2013 when they came back from 2-0 down to win the tie 3-2. –AFP