Jul 18, 2016

    UK, France, Argentina, US lead in Davis Cup q-finals


    DEFENDING champions Great Britain, Argentina and France gatecrashed their hosts' Davis Cup parties to edge closer to the semi-finals on Saturday.

    Britain, playing without Wimbledon champion and world number two Andy Murray, took a 2-1 lead over 2010 winners Serbia in Belgrade.

    In the second singles rubber, rescheduled from Friday due to heavy rain, Dusan Lajovic defeated James Ward 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to pull the hosts, who are missing world number one Novak Djokovic, level.

    But Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot then beat Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles to move Britain to within one win of the last four.

    The winners will face either Argentina or Italy in the semi-finals.

    Fabio 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.

    But Juan Martin del Potro marked his first Davis Cup tie in four years by teaming with Guido Pella to beat Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4.

    France were also enjoying their hosts' hospitality by taking a 2-1 lead over 2012 and 2013 champions Czech Republic in 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, Croatia fended off elimination as Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig teamed up to beat the formidable US doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan 6-2, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

    The home side were 2-0 up after Friday's singles.