Murrays keep Britain hopes alive

Murrays keep Britain hopes alive

Croatia lead France 2-1; Australia back into World Group

Murrays keep Britain hopes alive

 Britain kept their hopes of retaining the Davis Cup alive thanks to a terrific backs-to-the-wall effort from brothers Andy and Jamie Murray on Saturday.

The Scottish siblings had to win their doubles rubber to stay in the tie against Argentina and battled hard to reduce the overall deficit to 2-1 with a four-set triumph over Juan Martin Del Potro and Leonardo Mayer to line up a compelling final day.

Andy, so often the British Davis Cup hero, was again the toast of the team, returning to the fray 19 hours after losing the longest match of his career to help secure a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win with his elder brother.

The victory enabled him to earn a measure of revenge over Del Potro who had beaten Andy in an epic five-setter on Friday that had lasted five hours seven minutes.

It sets up a fascinating third day with Andy having to fight off exhaustion when he seeks to send the tie to a deciding rubber by beating Guido Pella in the first of Sunday's reverse singles. If he prevails it will then be Del Potro's turn to battle against weariness when he could face Kyle Edmund, who lost his opening rubber against Pella, in a decider.

Britain captain Leon Smith, though, could plump instead for Dan Evans who came so close to toppling eventual winner Stanislas Wawrinka in this month's US Open.

Croatia in command

Hosts Croatia took a big step towards securing a final spot when Ivan Dodig and Marin Cilic beat Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the doubles to take a 2-1 lead on Saturday at Zadar.

US Open champions Mahut and Herbert are the world's top-ranked pair.Richard Gasquet, who won the first semifinal point for France on Friday, now takes on Cilic in Sunday's reverse singles while Lucas Pouille plays Borna Coric.

Aussies win

John Peers and Sam Groth clinched the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie for Australia with a doubles win over Slovakia in Sydney on Saturday.

Peers and Groth were taken to four sets by the Slovak pair of Andrej Martin and Igor Zelenay after holding a match point in the third set.

The duo went on to secure Australia's World Group status 3-0 in the 2017 Davis Cup competition with a polished 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/2) victory in two hours and 21 minutes.

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