Davis Cup 2018: GB trail Spain 2-1 after Murray & Inglot lose doubles
Great Britain trail 2-1 in their Davis Cup World Group tie in Spain after Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot were beaten in the doubles by Pablo Carreno Busta and Feliciano Lopez.
Murray and Inglot were second best throughout, losing 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4).
Britain must win both reverse singles rubbers on Sunday to be victorious in the tie on clay in Marbella.
Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady are due to play for GB but captain Leon Smith can select Kyle Edmund if he is fit.
The Australian Open semi-finalist was not chosen for Friday’s singles because of a hip injury.
Norrie is scheduled to play Albert Ramos-Vinolas before Broady faces Roberto Bautista Agut.
Sunday’s singles matches are live on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website from 10:00 GMT.
“The Spanish guys played an awful lot better than ours, it’s as simple as that,” Smith told BBC Sport.
“The court definitely favoured them but they also played well. We would have needed to make an awful lot more returns to try and make some inroads into their service games, but they were holding so quickly and we never really got any momentum.”
Asked whether Edmund would play on Sunday, he added: “He’ll have another practice session this evening on the match court, play some points for an extended period of time and after that we’ll have a good conversation with him.
“First and foremost, it’s got to be his decision because he’s coming back from an injury. Then the medical team will have their say, and if he’s ready to go then of course he should go out and give it a go.”
Britain fail to build on Norrie’s victory
The momentum appeared to be with Britain in this first-round tie after world number 114 Norrie came from two sets down to shock Bautista Agut in Friday’s second singles rubber.
However, they were always trailing in the doubles after Inglot was broken in the opening game and the British pair failed to sustain any pressure, creating only one unconverted break point in the match.
The crowd was much more partisan than on Friday when it often sounded like Britain was the home team and Lopez and Carreno Busta seemed to be inspired by the atmosphere.
Inglot struggled when serving and returning and was responsible for eight of Britain’s nine double faults.
Britain did at least fight hard to make the match competitive, saving 10 of the 12 break points they faced, but it was always a rearguard action to stay in touch.
They saved four break points when Inglot was serving at 2-4 down in the second set, while Murray had to save two at 5-5 in the third set, but none of the escapes could inspire a breakthrough when the Spaniards were serving, with 36-year-old Lopez rock-solid.
He and Carreno Busta raced into an early lead in the third-set tie-break and sealed victory on their third match point in two hours 28 minutes.
History and rankings against GB
Norrie and Broady – or Edmund if he comes in – face a monumental task to turn this tie around.
Spain captain Sergi Bruguera can bring in world number 10 Carreno Busta for the singles, while all five players in their squad are ranked in the top 40. Spain have won 27 of their past 28 Davis Cup ties on clay.
The losers of the tie will face a relegation play-off in September to stay in the World Group in 2019.