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Murray and Fleming edge Britain ahead

ESPN staff
September 14, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray and Colin Fleming recovered from dropping the third set © Getty Images
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Great Britain are one match away from returning to the World Group of the Davis Cup after Andy Murray and Colin Fleming clinched victory in the doubles to lead Croatia 2-1 in their play-off tie.

With the scores level at 1-1 after the first round of singles' matches, Murray inspired his nation to a vital win in Umag to put them on the verge of playing in the top tier of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2008, winning 6-3 6-2 6-7(6) 6-1 against the Croatian pairing of Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic.

Murray had been a doubt for the doubles encounter after he revealed on Friday he had problems with the back injury which forced him to skip the French Open.

The British pair won the first three games to storm into the lead before wrapping up the opening set 6-3. Murray and Fleming then broke in the fourth game of the second set and secured the double break for 5-2 before holding serve.

Dodig and Pavic however battled back from 4-2 down in the third to 5-4. Murray and Fleming held their nerve after having to serve twice to stay in the set, duly forcing a tiebreak.

Murray and Fleming got an immediate mini-break to go 3-0 up. The Croatian duo managed to pull two points back on their serve before taking one off Britain for 4-3.

The teams traded mini-breaks again for 5-5 before Britain earned their first match point, though Murray dumped his forehand into the net. Britain found the net again, this time through Fleming, to hand Croatia their first set point which was converted when Fleming double faulted.

Britain seized the break early in the third set to open up a 3-0 advantage. Croatia managed to get a game on the board to make it 3-1, but Britain restored their three-game lead to make it 4-1.

Murray clinched the double break in fine style, first by setting up two breaks points with a cross-court backhand winner, and then taking the sixth game by opening up his body to fire a forehand winner. And on their third match point, Britain took the win to move ahead in the encounter.

On Sunday, it is the reverse of the singles, and Murray can send Britain into the World Group with a win over Dodig in the first match of the day.

"Colin played exceptionally well, bar a couple of points in the third set, and we dominated the majority of it. It definitely helps [playing Dodig today]," Murray told Eurosport.

"You get a feel for the return and I returned his serve fairly well today. I felt I got a pretty good read of it which will hopefully help tomorrow."

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