Birmingham (UK): Andy and Jamie Murray edged defending champions Great Britain closer to the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka and Yakutaka Uchiyama.
Britain's Jamie (left) and Andy Murray celebrate their win in the Davis Cup final against Belgium at Flanders Expo last year. Pic/AFP
Just as in their title triumph over Belgium in November in what was Britain's first Davis Cup triumph in 79 years, the brothers played a starring role.
The win gave the hosts a 2-1 lead and World No 2 Andy Murray can seal the tie today when he faces Japan's top player Kei Nishikori, ranked number six, in the first of the reverse singles.
A quarter-final against either Serbia or Kazakhstan in July awaits the winners. Nishikori is the highest-ranked player Murray has ever played in Davis Cup, but he has won five of their previous six matches.
"I played well against him last year. I played him a couple of times. He's ranked six in the world, so he's one of the best," said Murray.
"It's obviously going to be extremely tough, but I'm playing well and hopefully I can play a good one and try and seal the win. But if not Dan is capable of winning his match as well."
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic suffered his first Davis Cup defeat in five years when he and Serbian teammate Nenad Zimonjic lost their doubles rubber to Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov on Saturday.
The 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5 scoreline gave Kazakhstan a 2-1 lead ahead of the reverse singles on Sunday where the winner will go on to face either Great Britain or Japan in the quarter-finals.
Today, the World No 1 Djokovic will face Mikhail Kukushkin where he will try to keep the tie alive. The final singles is due to feature Viktor Troicki against Nedovyesov.