Davis Cup: Great Britain go 2-1 up on Italy after doubles win in Naples
Last Updated: 06/04/14 1:11pm
Great Britain moved to within one win of a place in the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1981 after Andy Murray and Colin Fleming managed to grind out a four-set win over Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.
Murray had to return earlier to the court in Naples to finish off a single win before combining with Fleming for a 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-5 victory against a spirited Italian duo.
Despite suffering with illness in the build-up to the tie, Murray managed to battle through his first task of the day by beating Andreas Seppi after holding an overnight lead.
He was unconvincing when asked if he would return for the following doubles, but with so much at stake, Leon Smith was taking no chances and threw the British No 1 right back into the action an hour and a half later.
Murray looked in pretty good order as well as he and Fleming combined for a break in the first set and two in the second set to give them a commanding lead.
However, Fleming’s serve was broken in the third set and the emotional Italian crowd raised the noise level as the home players raised their level on the court to hit back and pull a set back.
That momentum gave them an early break in the fourth, and even when GB broke to level at 3-3, the home side hit back immediately and they were later able to serve for the set at 5-4.
Fleming atoned for losing his serve though as he produced a couple of great points to break and level again at 5-5, which he made 6-5 with a booming service game.
It was all too much for Fognini on his next service game, as he quickly fell 0-40 behind and despite the Italians saving two match points Fleming punched the third home to seal the victory.
The win means that with a 2-1 lead, Great Britain now need just one win from Sunday’s two reverse singles matches to reach the Davis Cup semis for the first time since 1981.
The nine-time winners, who last lifted the title in 1936, would face either Switzerland or Kazakhstan in September's semi-finals if they come through against Italy.