Delbonis seals Argentina win on fourth day of tense tie

Mon Mar 9, 2015 1:54pm EDT
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By Rex Gowar

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina reached the Davis Cup quarter-finals when Federico Delbonis beat Thomaz Bellucci 6-3 3-6 6-2 7-5 on the fourth day of an epic tie against Brazil to seal a 3-2 win on Monday.

Four times finalists Argentina will meet world number one Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, the 2010 champions, in another home tie in the last eight on July 17-19.

Argentina hope to have former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro back in the team if he has recovered from a wrist injury.

“Leo's win yesterday (Sunday) allowed me to play today for the victory. Thanks to the crowd for their support,” Delbonis said courtside.

Argentina had flirted with defeat by their bitter South American rivals when they were 2-1 down after the doubles and number one Leonardo Mayer needed 11 match points to overcome Joao Souza in the fourth rubber which lasted a competition singles record six hours and 42 minutes on Sunday.

Delbonis reached his first match point after a Bellucci drive landed over the baseline after one of the many long rallies in a tense final rubber which began on Sunday.

He sealed the win with a fine drive down the line out of the Brazilian's reach.

The Argentine number two carried a first set lead into Monday’s extra day on the purpose built claycourt at the Tecnopolis exhibition center on the city outskirts.   Continued...

Argentina's Federico Delbonis (R) is congratulated by compatriot Juan Martin del Potro after Delbonis defeated Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci during their Davis Cup men's single tennis match in Buenos Aires March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Enrique Marcarian