Doubles delight for Britain
Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins kept Britain's Davis Cup hopes alive with victory over Ruben Bemelmans and David Goffin.
Last Updated: 07/04/12 11:18pm
Doubles duo Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins kept Great Britain's Davis Cup hopes alive with victory over Belgian pair Ruben Bemelmans and David Goffin at Glasgow's Braehead Arena.
Singles defeats for Josh Goodall and Dan Evans on Friday meant Saturday's doubles encounter was a must-win match for the hosts in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie.
It seemed a clean sweep was on the cards too when Bemelmans and Goffin - who had never played together before - took the opening set.
They broke the Fleming serve in only the third game and the Anglo-Scottish pair never really threatened to recover the deficit, leaving Britain staring at a first defeat in six.
Hutchins in particular was struggling to keep his returns in court but he began to find his form in the second set and some concerted pressure paid off with a break for a 4-2 lead.
Although Hutchins failed to serve out for the set, Bemelmans was broken in the 12th game to level proceedings.
Hutchins nailed a return down the line to put Britain 4-2 ahead in the third set, and this time there was to be no wobble as they got their noses in front.
A break point had to be saved in game six of the fourth set before Britain broke to take a 5-4 advantage, allowing Hutchins to serve out for the match. He polished off the Belgians in fine style, hammering down an ace.
Davis Cup captain Leon Smith was full of praise for Fleming and Hutchins, who won their second ATP Tour title together last month in Delray Beach.
"They're brilliant to have on the team sheet. They're obviously a team on the way up, they're the most fantastic guys to be around for the whole squad, they lift everything," he said.
"They're so professional. You come in at the start of the week and they're happy to help the singles guys in their play. And they've got so much more to come. I think this team is going to grow and grow."
Goodall and Evans will now need to win the reverse singles on Sunday for Great Britain to triumph. The former will face Olivier Rochus while Evans is set to come up against Steve Darcis.