Fleming & Hutchins defeated Mertinak & Polasek 6/3 7/6(4) 0/6 6/3
I'd say the match played out as we'd expected really. We were slight favourites going in, but mindful that Mertinak had considerable Davis Cup experience, and Polasek was riding a top 20 ranking.
The first two sets were very tight...quality of returns wasn't great from either team, and it was mostly serve-dominated. We simply took our opportunities, and the Slovaks didn't do enough to create some of their own. That changed, though, in the third set. The Brits' level dropped a little, and the Slovaks just started to really go for their shots...and played spectacularly. We had little answer and, at *00/40 on the Hutchins' serve at the beginning of the 4th set, we were getting a little worried. However, the Slovaks' magic wore off rather abruptly. We won five straight points to hold, and were barely troubled after that.
A job well done imo...their best Davis Cup performance together, and the best partnership that they have beaten to date in this competition. They can beat other Group I partnerships, and could certainly have beaten some of the World Group pairings today as well.
If we could count on Murray a little more often, we'd have a genuine shot at 3 rubbers in many of these sorts of ties.
If he'd played this weekend, we'd be winning 3-1 tomorrow, with a rubber to spare...