Argentina took command of their Davis Cup semi-final against Great Britain after winning both singles rubbers on Friday.
Former US Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro gave the visitor’s the precious opening point with a stunning 6-4 5-7 6-7 6-3 6-4 victory over world number two, Andy Murray, before Guido Pella came from behind to beat young Brit, Kyle Edmund in the second match of the day.
The match between del Potro and Murray was always going to be pivotal in the final outcome of this tie, and the two superstars highlighted the significance of the rubber with an epic topsy-turvy five-hour five-set encounter.
Both men battled fatigue in a match that became the longest in either man’s career, but it was del Potro who found that little bit extra in the end to edge a gripping contest.
Del Potro spends these days outside the world’s top 50, but it is surely only a matter of time before the rankings reflect the Argentine’s true place among the elites of the sport.
He was the better player in the opening phase of the match, winning the first set, and serving for the second, but Murray fought back to level proceedings.
When the Scot dug out a tight third set, all the momentum appeared to be with the home player, but an inspired del Potro found new levels late on to win the next two sets, sending the 400 travelling fans into delirium.
Pella later backed up del Potro’s efforts with a 6-7 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over Edmund, taking Argentina to the brink of the final, and leaving Great Britain’s title defense in tatters.