Saturday, April 7, 2018

U.S. wins doubles, advances to Davis Cup semis

   As expected, the United States won the doubles to clinch a victory over Belgium in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.
   But today's match was surprisingly close.
   Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock subdued Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in three hours in Nashville, Tenn., to give the U.S. an insurmountable 3-0 lead and put the United States in the semifinals for the first time since 2012.
   John Isner and San Francisco native Sam Querrey won their singles matches on Friday.
   Both Harrison and Sock -- ranked 17th and 26th in doubles, respectively -- have won one Grand Slam men's doubles title but with different partners. Harrison and Michael Venus of New Zealand took the French Open crown last year, and Sock teamed with Vasek Pospisil of Canada for the 2014 Wimbledon trophy.
   Meanwhile, Gille and Vliegen -- ranked 84th and 98th in doubles, respectively -- made their Davis Cup debut near where they played in college. Gille attended East Tennessee State, and Vliegen went to East Carolina.
   The United States likely will play at nemesis Croatia, which leads visiting Kazakhstan 2-1, in the Sept. 14-16 semifinals.
   Croatia, with a population comparable to Detroit's, is 4-0 against the United States. In the most recent meeting, Croatia stunned the U.S. 3-2 after trailing 2-0 in Portland, Ore., in the 2016 quarterfinals.

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