Davis Cup: Bryan and Harrison prevail in epic clash to keep USA alive

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Davis Cup: Bryan and Harrison prevail in epic clash to keep USA alive

In one of the best and longest Davis Cup doubles matches in 2018, Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison have played for the first time together to defeat Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic 7-5 7-6(6) 1-6 6-7(5) 7-6(5) after four hours and 43 minutes to bring the first point for the USA and reduce the overall deficit to 2-1 after Borna Coric and Marin Cilic sent Croatia in front on Friday. Ryan stepped in instead of injured Jack Sock and this was his third Davis Cup doubles win in 2018, playing for his country for the first time since 2012 and securing his place in the future Davis Cup ties as well.

Mate Pavic has become the youngest doubles world number 1 since 1996 a few months ago and this was his first Davis Cup appearance since 2014, giving his best together with Ivan Dodig in front of their crowd in Zadar but just falling short before performing a huge turnaround after losing the opening two sets.

The Croat drew first blood in the seventh game of the opening set and they wasted a set point on the return in the ninth game that proved to be crucial. Mike and Ryan gained a huge boost after that and they broke their rivals in games 10 and 12 to steal the opener 7-5.

They traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games of the second set and Ivan and Mate saved a set point in the 12th game to set up a tie break where they had a set point at 6-5. The Americans remained calm and they won the next three points to steal another set and move two sets to love up.

Pavic and Dodig took charge in the third set, breaking their opponents in games two and four to claim the set 6-1 and stay in touch, winning the fourth set in the tie break as well to set up a decider. There, they traded early breaks and nothing could separate them before the tie break that the Americans won with a return winner from Harrison at 6-5 to cross the finish line and start a huge celebration, hoping for more of the same in Sunday's singles matches. Saturday's result: