On this day: USA and Chile complete marathon Davis Cup doubles match



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On this day: USA and Chile complete marathon Davis Cup doubles match

Between August 3-6, the USA hosted Chile in the final of the Americas Inter-Zonal final, with the home team scoring a 4-0 triumph. In the previous season, the USA toppled Chile 5-0 in away tie and their players were the dominant figures in this one as well thanks to Tom Gorman, Stan Smith and Erik Van Dillen.

In the first rubber, Tom Gorman defeated Jaime Fillol 17-15, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 after a marathon that halted the second singles match at 3-3 in set number three. Nothing could have separated them in the first set that saw 32 games and 31 straight holds before Fillol suffered a break to push Gorman in front after just over two hours.

Gorman claimed set number two with a break in game ten, breaking in the eighth game of the fourth set and sealing the deal on own serve to send the USA 1-0 in front. The second rubber between Stan Smith and Patricio Cornejo Seckal saw 15 straight holds before the Chilean broke to take the first set 9-7, with the American taking the second 6-2 and bringing the win home on Saturday before the doubles encounter that was moved to Sunday.

On August 5, Erik van Dillen and Stan Smith prevailed against Patricio Cornejo Seckel and Jaime Fillol 7-9, 37-39, 8-6, 6-1, 6-3 in the longest Davis Cup match in history in terms of games played, spending six hours and 20 minutes on the court on delivering 122 games!

The incredible second set lasted for three hours and 45 minutes alone, with the Chileans taking it 39-37 for by far the longest Davis Cup set in history. It was a great battle right on and the first set was decided when Patricio Cornejo Seckel and Jaime Fillol broke in game 15 for an 8-7 lead before Fillol closed the set with a love service game.

As it turned out, it was only a prelude for that epic second set that saw no less than 12 set points for the Americans! The teams exchanged breaks three times (the Chileans served for the set every time, only to get broken) before Smith lost his serve at 37-37, allowing Fillol to serve it out and send Chile two sets to love in front.

The third set was also very tight and the Chileans were two games away from the win three times, allowing van Dillen and Smith to keep themselves in contention, breaking Patricio Cornejo in the 14th game to steal the set 8-6 and avoid a defeat (in the first three sets, the Chileans served 35 times just to stay in the set).

This was a game-changer and out of sudden, the momentum switched to the side of the hosting team, who won the fourth set 6-1. The match had to be suspended due to darkness at 5-1 in the fourth and continued the next day, bringing nothing to the Chilean squad that lost the decider in 20 minutes, having nothing more left in the tank.

The final two sets were the real anti-climax of what had been one of the most dramatic Davis Cup encounters ever that will forever stay in the record books, primarily due to that mammoth second set.