April 5, 2014 / 4:17 PM / 4 years ago

Tennis-Murray fires Britain into 2-1 Davis Cup lead over Italy

ROME April 5 (Reuters) - Andy Murray propelled Britain to within one win of reaching their first Davis Cup semi-final in over three decades after securing back-to-back victories over Italy on Saturday.

After finishing off a 6-4 7-5 6-3 win over Andreas Seppi in a singles match that had been suspended on Friday due to bad light with the Wimbledon champion leading by a set, the world number eight was back on court as he replaced his friend Ross Hutchins for the doubles rubber.

Murray and partner Colin Fleming pulled off an energy-sapping 6-3 6-2 3-6 7-5 win on red clay over Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini to earn the visitors a 2-1 lead going into Sunday’s reverse singles.

Fognini had beaten James Ward on Friday.

Murray and Fleming appeared to be heading for a straight sets win when they raced into a two-set lead in just over an hour but were pegged back after Fleming’s game fell apart in the third.

After going 5-3 down in front of an increasingly hostile Naples crowd in the fourth set, Britain rallied to win four games in a row to win the match.

Murray will have the chance to secure Britain a place in the semi-finals for the first time since 1981, against either Switzerland or Kazakhstan, when he takes on Fognini in Sunday’s first reverse singles.

The Italian is in the form of his life after having won all three of his career ATP singles titles on clay in the space of the last nine months, which has moved him up to a career-high 13th in the rankings. (Reporting by Terry Daley, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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