MARBELLA, Spain – Pablo Carreño-Busta and Feliciano Lopez made a successful Davis Cup doubles debut on Saturday to give Spain a 2-1 lead over Great Britain in that first-round World Group tie.
The Spaniards defeated the British pair of Jaime Murray and Dominic Inglot 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (4) without conceding a single service game, wrapping up the clay-court contest in two hours and 28 minutes at the Puente Romano Tennis Club in the southern Spanish city of Marbella.
The Spanish duo leveraged the strong groundstrokes of 2017 US Open singles semifinalist Carreño-Busta, who heaped constant pressure on the Britons with his powerful and accurate return of serve.
The host side faced a break point in the second game of the first set, but Carreño-Busta blasted an ace to wipe out that threat.
The Britons had appeared to have a golden chance to grab a 2-1 lead in the tie, but despite sending out Murray, a former world No. 1 in doubles and five-time Grand Slam champion (in men’s doubles and mixed doubles), they fell far short of expectations.
On the first day of the tie, 21st-ranked Albert Ramos-Viñolas gave Spain a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (6) victory over 165th-ranked Liam Broady.
But 114th-ranked Cameron Norrie then pulled off a big upset in his Davis Cup debut, rallying from two sets down to defeat 23rd-ranked Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 and draw Great Britain level at 1-1.
On Sunday, Norrie will try pull off another upset when he takes on Ramos Viñolas in the fourth rubber.
If he can even things up a second time, the tie will come down to a match between Bautista-Agut and Broady.