Argentina grab 2-1 lead over Belgium in Davis Cup semis

Brussels: Argentine duo Leonardo Mayer and Carlos Berlocq held their nerve to edge Belgium’s Steve Darcis and Ruben Bemelmans 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5) here in doubles and give the South Americans a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup semi-finals.

The match on Saturday was marred by controversy because of a decision in the second-set tiebreaker by the umpire, who angered the host side and the fans at the 8,000-capacity Forest National arena by ordering a point to be replayed after an instant-play overrule instead of awarding the point to the Belgians.

Argentina took full advantage of the call, tying the score at 1-1 by winning the replayed point and then taking six of the next seven points to capture the tiebreaker and grab a two-set-to-love lead.

Belgium fought back in the third set, but Argentina sealed the victory when Darcis hit a backhand return over the baseline.

The semi-final tie will now come down to the reverse singles on Sunday, when Belgian No. 1 David Goffin will take on Mayer before Darcis and Federico Delbonis square off in a potentially decisive fifth rubber.

In the other Davis Cup semi-final, being played at Emirates Arena in Glasgow, brothers Andy and Jaime Murray gave Britain a 2-1 lead over Australia with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4 doubles win over Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth.