July 16, 2016

PESARO, Italy (AP) Juan Martin del Potro and Guido Pella won their doubles to put Argentina on the cusp of an 11th Davis Cup semifinal in 14 years on Saturday.

Del Potro and Pella, doubling up for the first time, outlasted Fabio Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi 6-1, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 3-6, 6-4 for Argentina to lead Italy 2-1 in their quarterfinal on outdoor clay.

Fognini began the day by playing the second singles that never started on Friday because of bad light and weather. He didn't muck around. He bounced Juan Monaco, playing in his first tie in 2 1/2 years, 6-1, 6-1, 7-5, and was so fresh that Italy put him in the doubles and pulled Marco Cecchinato.

Two hours later, Fognini looked fresh but was let down by Lorenzi, as Del Potro and Pella quickly won the first two sets.

Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, was playing his first tie in nearly four years, and his first Davis Cup doubles, but there was no empathy from Italian fans, whose whistling when he served eventually drove the umpire to warn the fans.

He lost his serve to love in the third set and again, decisively, in the fourth set to concede them.

But he and the lefthanded Pella broke Lorenzi for 4-3 in the final set, and served out nearly four hours after they started.

On Sunday, the two opening singles winners meet first, Argentina's Federico Delbonis and Fognini.

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