Andy and Jamie Murray kept alive Great Britain’s hopes of retaining the Davis Cup with a four-set win over Argentina in the semi-final doubles.
The Scottish brothers beat Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-4 to cut Argentina’s lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five tie in Glasgow.
Andy Murray and either Kyle Edmund or Dan Evans must win singles matches on Sunday to give Britain victory.
The winners of the tie will face France or Croatia in the final in November.
- Davis Cup semi-final coverage details
- Murrays’ doubles victory as it happened
Andy Murray had been expected to play in Saturday’s doubles with Britain on the verge of defeat, but it was a surprise to see Del Potro back on court after the pair’s five-hour-seven-minute match on Friday.
And Del Potro hinted after Saturday’s match that may not play on Sunday, should a fifth and final rubber be required.
“I have to be smart,” said Del Potro. “I want to play for more years not just one more match.”
Murray is scheduled to face Guido Pella in Sunday’s opening singles match before Del Potro takes on Edmund, although nominations can change up to an hour before the 13:00 BST start time.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Murray. “I’m obviously tired just now – I know how their players will be feeling too. I’ll try and get through the first match and see what happens.
“Two-one down is a tough position to be in, but we are closer than we were at the start of the day and I still believe we can come back.”
GB captain Leon Smith could choose to bring in the fresher Evans to face Del Potro, in place of Edmund, should Murray level the tie and force a decider.
“We’re going to need the Glasgow roar tomorrow,” said Smith.
“Everyone is tired – it’s that stage of the season. It’s the same for their team, but if there’s somebody you want going out to get the first rubber on the board, it’s Andy Murray.”
Del Potro gamble fails for Argentina
Argentina captain Daniel Orsanic took a gamble in playing star man Del Potro in the doubles, but it looked like a masterstroke as his team moved a break up in the third set.
The Murrays had raced through the first set for the loss of just one game but a poor service game from Andy Murray let Argentina into the contest early in the second.
His frustration brought a warning from the umpire as chances went begging early in the third set, and it was the Wimbledon champion whose serve was broken when Del Potro fired a backhand return past him.
A final place was now within sight for Argentina, but it brought Andy Murray to life and he roared as the brothers won three straight games to clinch the set.
Jamie Murray, the Australian and US Open doubles champion, had been superb around the net all afternoon and he created a break point at the start of the fourth set, only for Del Potro to smash away the danger.
However, he could do nothing to stop the Murray brothers racing 0-40 up on Mayer’s serve in game 10, and younger brother Andy converted match point at the net.
“It’s not going to get better for me than to play with him in front of a Scottish crowd. It’s quite emotional,” said Jamie Murray.
“We played a great match. It’s exciting for me that Juan Martin played the match, one of the best players in the world.
“We did a great job. Andy returned amazing and gave us a load of chances. We’re back in the tie and tomorrow we’ll be trying as much as we can to get the two rubbers we need.”
Smith added: “They’ve given us so many good moments together as a team and we needed them.
“As soon as we heard Juan Martin was coming in, they showed their cards, that they wanted to finish the tie today.
“As the match went on, Andy started to return really well, Jamie was very, very sharp around the net and his serve has improved a lot. On a faster court like this maybe the team who played more attacking tennis at the net won the day.”
Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent:
“Juan Martin del Potro’s appearance on the doubles court was a huge surprise, given Argentina’s position in the tie, and it may turn out to be his last match of the week.
“Both del Potro and Andy Murray have now spent eight hours and two minutes on court in Glasgow, and although mind games are often an important ingredient, Del Potro has hinted quite strongly he may not play on Sunday should a fifth and final rubber be required.
“The travelling Argentine media are inclined to take his words at face value – and suspect he won’t play.
“Dan Evans is likely to play in any fifth match for GB – but that will only be necessary if an equally exhausted Murray can first beat Guido Pella, who will be feeling a lot, lot fresher.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/37396983