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Britain, Argentina, France edge closer to Davis Cup semi-finals

Britain, Argentina, France edge closer to Davis Cup semi-finals

PARIS: Visiting teams Britain, Argentina, and France all won hard-fought doubles matches to take 2-1 leads in the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the United States couldn’t finish off Croatia in Portland, after Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig gave the brothers Bob and Mike Bryan only their fifth loss in cup doubles, 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, and kept the tie alive.

Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot put Britain, playing without Wimbledon champion and world number two Andy Murray, in position to move their cup defence into the semi-finals after beating Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic and Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4 in Belgrade.

Dusan Lajovic won the second singles suspended overnight when he beat Jamie Ward in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to pull the hosts, who are missing world number one Novak Djokovic, level.

If Britain win, they could play Argentina, who were on the cusp of an 11th semi-final in 14 years after Juan Martin del Potro and Guido Pella won their first doubles match together.

Del Potro and Pella outlasted Fabio Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 over nearly four hours in Pesaro after Fognini had pulled Italy level by beating Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-1, 7-5 in a singles held over from Friday because of rain.

France were also enjoying their hosts’ hospitality by taking a 2-1 lead over 2012 and 2013 champions the Czech Republic in steel town Trinec.

Wimbledon champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert, ranked first and second in the world, beat Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in just over three hours.

The winners of that tie will face either the 32-time champions United States or Croatia for a place in the final.

In Portland, Oregon, Cilic, despite losing a five-set singles on Friday, replaced Marin Draganja in doubles, and the move paid off as Croatia won to cut the Americans’ lead to 2-1.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2016

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