David Cup: USA keep tie alive with doubles success over Great Britain
Last Updated: 01/02/14 10:29pm
Doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan beat Colin Fleming and Dominic Inglot on Saturday
Great Britain were unable to clinch a rapid Davis Cup victory over the United States on Saturday as defeat in the doubles kept the match alive.
The British pair of Colin Fleming and Dominic Inglot, playing in place of the rested Andy Murray, were no match for Bob and Mike Bryan, who clinched a 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-1 victory in San Diego.
It left Britain leading the World Cup first-round tie 2-1 following singles victories for Murray and, brilliantly, James Ward on day one.
Murray can seal their place in the quarter-finals by beating Sam Querrey in the opening match on Sunday.
Captain Leon Smith opted to give the Wimbledon champion the day off on Saturday with that match in mind, deciding to keep him as fresh as possible, given his run to the Australian Open quarter-finals and the fact he is still feeling his way back into the rigours of the main tour after back surgery.
A win on Sunday, should the Scot pull it off, would seal Britain's first win over the US since 1935.
The Bryan brothers, doubles specialists, knew only a win would do on the newly-laid clay at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball team, and they got off to a flying start as two breaks of serve handed them the first set.
Fleming and Inglot are decent doubles players - the latter reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last month and of last year's US Open - but they struggled to trouble their opponents, who broke for a 5-3 lead in the second set before seeing it out.
With Murray offering encouragement from courtside, the British duo fought back, breaking for a 4-2 lead in the third before clinching it 6-3.
They made the worst possible start to the fourth, though, as the US broke for a 2-0 lead and then again to go 5-1 in front. And the Bryans duly closed out the match to take the tie into a third day.
It left Britain needing one more win on Sunday, either from Murray's meeting with Querrey or Ward's clash with Donald Young, to move into the quarter-finals.