Juan Martin del Potro outlasts Andy Murray, gives Argentina lead in Davis Cup

first_imgJuan Martin del Potro ended Andy Murray’s 14-match winning streak in the Davis Cup, coming through a grueling five-setter to give Argentina a 1-0 lead over titleholder Britain in the semifinals on Friday.Del Potro won 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 in 5 hours, 7 minutes to gain a measure of revenge after losing the Olympic final to Murray in Rio de Janeiro last month.Being taken the distance was exactly what Murray didn’t need at the end of his long summer of tennis in which he won both the Wimbledon and Olympic titles for the second time. He looked almost out on his feet at times in an energy-sapping final set, and couldn’t handle the barrage of forehand shots by the rejuvenated Del Potro. (Also read: Davis Cup: Advantage Spain as Ferrer outclasses Saketh Myneni)Del Potro gained the crucial break in the fifth set at the third opportunity, reaching Murray’s volley with a forehand winner down the line to go 4-3 ahead, and he served out for the match, clinching victory with an ace and a big growl.Murray had never previously lost a home singles match in the Davis Cup.Argentina is playing its 11th Davis Cup semifinal in 15 years. The south American country has never won the team event, finishing runner-up in 1981, 2006, 2008, and 2011. (Also read: Davis Cup: Rafael Nadal pulls out of first singles match vs India due to Delhi belly) Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is a force in tennis once again after returning from three wrist operations that nearly ruined his career. He is Argentina’s top player but is ranked a lowly No. 64 on his comeback trail, meaning he had to play Murray in the opening match.advertisement”I cannot imagine this moment in my career,” Del Potro said. “This was the type of match I was missing when I was at home.”Kyle Edmund takes on Guido Pella in the second singles later Friday. On Saturday, Murray is scheduled to partner his brother, Jamie, in the doubles against Federico Delbonis and Leonardo Mayer.last_img