After a disappointing opening day at home, brothers Andy and Jamie Murray teamed to get Great Britain on the board against Argentina with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Juan Martin del Potro and Leonardo Mayer.
With Great Britain down 2-0 leading into Saturday’s doubles, it was a must-win for the Murrays in Glasgow.
“The atmosphere was brilliant,” Jamie said. “From the first point to the last, the crowd was something else. As I said on the court, it’s a huge privilege to be able to play with Andy in Scotland and have that amount of support behind us.
“We played a great match, we had to. Those guys were playing really well too. We knew they weren’t going to shy away from the occasion and the atmosphere. I think we should be really proud of the way we played and competed from start to finish. It gives us momentum going into tomorrow’s matches.”
In a surprising move, the Argentines played del Potro who had just beaten Andy Murray in over five hours on Friday. As an underdog against Andy and Jamie and with little previous Davis Cup doubles experience, why put del Potro on the court especially when he must be feeling the 5-hour marathon?
“I thought that it was the best doubles team we have. We went for it to intend to close out the tie,” coach Daniel Orsanic said.
Del Potro wasn’t worried. “I felt tired [in the morning] but it was normal and I agree with Daniel’s decisions. With Leonardo we form the best option to play this match. I think we did really well, we had our chances but we couldn’t win.”
If Murray beats Guido Pella as expected, del Potro will be asked to win it for Argentina against either Kyle Edmund or maybe Dan Evans.
In Croatia, Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig toppled the favorites Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6, 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 to give Croatia a 2-1 lead over France going into the Sunday finale.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Dodig and our team captain, he prepared the tactics really well,” said Cilic. “Nicolas and Pierre served amazingly well today and it was extremely tough for me to return. But we also served very well while I also felt very comfortable on the net. A few points decided the contest, it was a real thriller in both tie-breaks and fortunately we came out on top.”
Cilic will try to win it Sunday against Richard Gasquet. If he fails Borna Coric will battle Lucas Pouille for a spot in the Davis Cup finals.
In World Group playoffs, after missing the Friday singles with a stomach issue, Rafael Nadal joined Marc Lopez to give Spain a 3-0 win over India in New Delhi.
“Our ambition was to get into the World Group, and it is great we did that,” Nadal said. “Leander is one of the greatest doubles players and the match was very close, it was won or lost in few points.
“I always love to come and play here. The crowd is great and I have loved playing here and also coming for my charity work.”
Kei Nishikori won both his matches to lead Japan to a 3-0 win over the visiting Ukraine. And behind Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic’s Friday wins, Australia swept Slovakia 3-0.
Canada and Belgium also earned spots in the World Group next year.
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