• Davis Cup

Great Britain secure first point over Russia

ESPN staff
April 6, 2013 « Encore causes huge Grand National shock | Chartbeat test »
Jonny Murray and Colin Fleming made light work of Igor Kunitsyn and Victor Baluda © Getty Images
Enlarge

Great Britain have kept their Davis Cup Group l second round match with Russia alive after Colin Fleming and debutant Jonny Marray enjoyed a 6-1 6-4 6-2 victory over Igor Kunitsyn and Victor Baluda at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Russia took a 2-0 lead following Friday's singles matches, but it was Great Britain who took the impetus on Saturday after winning the toss and choosing to serve.

Fleming and 2012 Wimbledon doubles champion Marray started strongly with a comfortable double-break to take the first set 6-1 in less than half an hour, before another break of the Russian serve early in the second allowed Great Britain to hold for 6-4 and a two-set lead.

The fast court favoured Great Britain as Baluda continued to struggle on his serve, gifting the early break in the third before playing partner Kunitsyn suffered the same fate. Marray and Fleming both held as Great Britain rushed to a 4-0 lead in the last.

Russia could not answer what Great Britain offered as Murray and Fleming stormed to take the third set 6-2 and put a much-needed first point on the board.

"I love playing Davis Cup. I want to dedicate this win to Ross Hutchins, he is a big part of this team," Fleming told the LTA official website. "Let's do it tomorrow boys. We can do this. Let's go!"

Marray was pleased with his debut, stating: "I could not have asked for any better today. Colin played a good match. I could not be happier with how my debut went."

Great Britain captain Leon Smith was equally happy with the result, believing his side could still pull off a shock victory.

"That was outstanding what they did there," Smith said. "They stamped their authority on to the match from start to finish. The crowd were excellent today so thank you very much. Upsets can happen. Give the guys whatever you have got tomorrow please."

The win boosts hopes of a GB victory ahead of Sunday's rubbers matches, where James Ward plays Dmitry Tursunov before Dan Evans faces Evgeny Donskoy.

Great Britain need two victories on Sunday to win the tie and advance to a World Group play-off.

Elsewhere, Kazakhstan clawed back a point to keep alive their semi-final hopes as Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin defeated Czech Republic's Jan Hajek and Radek Stepanek 7-6(2) 6-4 6-3 to reduce the defending champions' lead to 2-1.

Argentina moved into a 2-1 lead over France after David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos defeated Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra 3-6 7-6(3) 7-5 6-3.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close