Britain still alive in the Davis Cup after Murray brothers win pivotal doubles rubber
Britain still alive in the Davis Cup after Murray brothers win pivitol doubles rubber

Britain still alive in the Davis Cup after Murray brothers win pivotal doubles rubber

Andy and Jamie Murray beat Juan Martin Del Potro and Leonardo Mayer in four sets to take the tie to a final day.

Joe Nicholson

Great Britain’s hopes of retaining the Davis Cup are still alive after Andy and Jamie Murray claimed Saturday’s pivotal doubles rubber against Argentina.

Britain are still up against it in the overall tie and must still win both of Sunday’s remaining singles matches to progress to the final. However, they have regained some momentum falling 2-0 behind on the opening day.

At times Andy, who played a five-hour marathon with Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday, looked exhausted and was carried by his older brother as they recorded a 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-4 over Del Potro and Leonardo Mayer.

It was a match which the hosts needed to win save the tie in Glasgow and for that reason Andy’s inclusion was obvious - due to the fact that Britain didn’t have another doubles specialist in their team.

Del Potro’s involvement was less clear after his heroic victory Britain’s number one, and the towering Argentine may still have to play a deciding rubber against Kyle Edmund or Dan Evans.

Andy is tired refuses to give up

That will only take place if Andy can beat Guido Pella in Sunday’s opening match.  Usually the Brit would be the firm favourite, however after playing over eight hours of gruelling tennis in the past two days, even he is unsure how his durable body will react.

"It's going to be tough,” said Andy after the doubles triumph. “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."

He added "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."

Jamie takes the lead role

The brothers made the perfect start in front of packed Emirates Arena, with older brother Jamie, the recent US Open champion, taking the lead role.

They raced away with the first set in under half an hour, however a loose service game from Andy, in which he hit two double faults and missed a volley, gave Argentina an early break in the second.

After levelling the match at a set a piece, the decision to play Del Potro looked like it might pay off for Argentina’s captain Daniel Orsanic, as his side broke serve to lead 4-3 in the third.

Mayer, predominately a singles player himself, had begun to time the ball well of the ground and was also proving a pest at the net, much to Andy’s frustration.

However, a slack service game from the Argentine allowed Britain to level at 4-4 and, amid the roar of the crowd, they broke again two games later when a thumping return from Andy sealed a two sets to one lead.

Serving first, the Murray’s created an early break point opportunity after another astute move from Jamie at the net, however Del Potro averted the danger with a smash.

Nevertheless, at 4-5 with Mayer serving, the Brits charged to 0-40 lead and sealed the match when Andy converted the final volley.

Del Potro gamble backfires for Argentina

Britain’s captain Leon Smith said after the match: "They've given us so many good moments together as a team and we needed them."

He continued, "As soon as we heard Juan Martin was coming in, they showed their cards, that they wanted to finish the tie today."

Smith concluded, "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."