Gijon, Spain – The United States stayed alive in its Davis Cup semifinal against Spain with a doubles win Saturday from Mike and Bob Bryan.
The twins earned a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 triumph over the Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, improving their Davis Cup record to an astounding 20-2. They are also 9-0 in Davis Cup competition on clay.
Spain still holds a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five tie and can clinch a berth in the final with one victory in Sunday's reverse singles.
"They're pretty good in the clutch and they get us to Sunday when we're in this position all the time," said American captain Jim Courier of the Bryans. "We've got a chance."
David Ferrer will get the first chance to wrap it up for the reigning champs on Sunday against American John Isner. The fifth rubber is slated to feature Nicolas Almagro for the host nation against Sam Querrey.
Ferrer gave Spain the first point on Friday with a four-set win over Querrey, improving to 20-4 in Davis Cup singles and 15-0 on clay, before Almagro outlasted Isner in five sets to make it 2-0.
Needing a win Saturday, the Bryans broke twice to capture the first set, then failed to convert any of their nine break-point chances in the second as the Spaniards evened the match.
After a trade of early breaks in the third, the Bryans secured the set with a break in the 12th game. The same scenario played out in the fourth set and it was 6-5 heading to the 12th game. Lopez served for Spain to try to force a tiebreak, but double-faulted on the second match point to give the Americans the match.
Lopez was playing with a bandage on his left calf, while Granollers injured his left calf during the second and continued to play.
"At times we thought he was going to quit," said Bob Bryan about Granollers following the 3-hour, 38-minute match. "But he kept getting the balls, kept hitting the serves, and they played well when they needed to. I'm proud we stayed the course the whole way."
The Spaniards, winners of five of the last 12 Davis Cup titles, are playing this weekend without ailing superstar Rafael Nadal. The reigning French Open champ is battling a knee injury.
Spain hasn't lost a Davis Cup tie on home soil since 1999. The Americans have already won twice on clay this year, beating Switzerland in the opening round before taking out France in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. won the last of its record 32 Davis Cup titles in 2007 and owns a record of 5-5 against Spain. The Spaniards have won the last two matchups, including a quarterfinal victory last year in Texas.
This weekend's winner will meet either Argentina or the Czech Republic in November's final. Spain beat Argentina for the title last year.