Davis Cup - Flemski win puts GB in charge

Eurosport - Sat, 06 Mar 15:01:00 2010

Colin Fleming and Ken Skupski won Great Britain's first Davis Cup doubles match for three years against Lithuania's Dovydas Sakinis and Laurynas Grigelis in Vilnius.

Britain's Davis Cup team members Ken Skupski (l) and Colin Fleming - 0

The British duo, ranked 53 and 54 in the world respectively at doubles, lost the second set on a tie-break but battled through against their teenage opponents to prevail 6-0 6-7 7-5 6-3.

The doubles leg has cost Great Britain dearly in the past, with defeats proving decisive in 3-2 losses against Austria in 2008 and Poland last season.

And with the Europe/Africa Zone group II match against Lithuania in the balance at 1-1 after the opening singles rubbers, Saturday's tie looked set to prove vital again.

But where previous pairings had floundered under the pressure, Fleming and Skupski dismissed their opponents with ruthless efficiency.

The Brits, playing their debut Davis Cup match together, were heavy favourites on paper with 18-year old Grigelis ranked 907 for doubles and 17-year old Sakinis still to earn a doubles ranking.

And the Lithuanians' inexperience was exposed in the opener as Fleming and Skupski raced through in 19 minutes without dropping a game.

But the Brits have lost their last five matches on the ATP Tour and, with the crowd in the Vitas Gerulaitis Tennis Centre behind them, Grigelis and Sakinis clawed their way back into the match.

It was Grigelis who led the charge, playing with a greater assuredness than in Friday's straight set singles defeat to James Ward and hitting passing shots from all angles of the court.

But after the disappointment of losing the second set tie-break 7-2, Fleming and Skupski gathered their composure and resumed dominance.

The Brits hadn't lost their serve throughout the first two sets and continued that record in the third, threatening on all of the Lithuanians' service games before breaking in the 12th game.

Grigelis and Sakinis' challenge eventually dwindled in the fourth set with Skupski serving out the match to love after a solitary break.

More Than The Games / Eurosport

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