Spain take 2-1 lead in Davis Cup tie after Murray and Inglot lose pivotal doubles rubber

The British pair lost in straight sets to Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez in Marbella. Britain must now win both of Sunday's singles matches to avoid defeat in the World Group tie.

Spain take 2-1 lead in Davis Cup tie after Murray and Inglot lose pivotal doubles rubber
(Photo via Getty Images/ Julian Finney)

Great Britain’s Davis Cup team have been left with a mountain to climb after losing Saturday’s doubles rubber against Spain in Marbella

Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot were beaten 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4) by Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez on the Spanish clay, as the hosts took a commanding 2-1 lead in the overall tie.

It means that Britain must win both of Sunday’s singles matches to avoid defeat in World Group first round.

This was always going to be an extremely difficult task for the British team, who are missing Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund due to injuries.

However, Cameron Norrie’s stunning comeback against world number 23 Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday had given Leon Smith’s side a glimmer of hope ahead of the doubles – which, at the start of the weekend, looked like the most evenly matched contest.

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Carreno Busta and Lopez prove too strong  

Even so, it was the Spanish pair who controlled things from the off, after Inglot dropped his serve in the second game of the match.

The Brits forced just one break point in the entire match as they were beaten in 2 hours and 28 minutes.

"The Spanish guys played an awful lot better than ours, it's as simple as that," British captain Smith told BBC Sport after the game.

"The court definitely favoured them but they also played well. We would have needed to make an awful lot more returns to try and make some inroads into their service games, but they were holding so quickly and we never really got any momentum."

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Edmund could still play a part

Smith could still select Edmund for the final day, and when asked if the Australian Open semi-finalist will be fit enough Smith replied: "He'll have another practice session this evening on the match court, play some points for an extended period of time and after that we'll have a good conversation with him.

"First and foremost, it's got to be his decision because he's coming back from an injury. Then the medical team will have their say, and if he's ready to go then of course he should go out and give it a go."

If Edmund doesn’t play, Norrie - the world number 114 - will hope to record another giant upset against Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who is ranked 93 places above the Brit.

After that, Liam Brody is scheduled to face Bautista Agut if a five rubber is required.

 

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