The doubles team of Robert Seguso and Ken Flach turned back a challenge by Fernando Perez Pascal and Jorge Lozano of Mexico Saturday to give the United States a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarterfinal series at Mexico City.
The Americans started slowly before gaining control for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory before a crowd of about 8,000 at the Sports Palace.
The U.S. will send Tim Mayotte against Francisco Maciel and Brad Gilbert against Perez Pascal in today's decisive singles matches.
Maciel upset Mayotte, ranked No. 10 in the world, in Friday's opening match.
"I am confident tomorrow we will win at least one of the two singles," American Captain Tom Gorman said. "Lozano and Pascal don't play doubles very often, but they played well against the best doubles team in the world."
Australia clinched its quarterfinal match against Britain behind another strong performance by Pat Cash, taking a 3-0 lead at Wimbledon, England. The Aussies will play the winner of the U.S.-Mexico match in the semifinals.
Cash and John Fitzgerald beat Jeremy Bates and Colin Dowdeswell, 6-1, 7-5, 6-4, in the deciding doubles match, which lasted 1 hour 35 minutes. Bates was a late substitute for John Lloyd, who was sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Cash, who reached the final eight in men's singles this year at Wimbledon, beat Bates in Friday's singles and was just as strong Saturday.
In another World Group quarterfinal, defending champion Sweden wrapped up its series against Italy by winning the doubles for a 3-0 lead at Bastad, Sweden. Mats Wilander, the world's No. 2-ranked singles player, and Joakim Nystrom defeated Paolo Cane and Claudia Panatta, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2.
In the semifinals, the Swedes, seeking their fourth straight Davis Cup title, will take on Czechoslovakia at Prague.
The Czechs clinched their series over Yugoslavia when Miloslav Mecir and Tomas Smid beat Slobodan Zivojinovic and Igor Flego, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, for a 3-0 lead at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. The Czechs advanced despite the absence of Ivan Lendl, the world's top-ranked player. He was criticized for uninspired play in last year's Davis Cup and was not placed on the squad this year.
Top-seeded Pam Shriver, playing her best tennis in months, advanced to the final of a $150,000 Virginia Slims tournament at Newport, R.I., by defeating fourth-seeded Anne White, 6-1, 6-3.
Shriver will play fifth-seeded Lori McNeil today. McNeil beat amateur Cammie MacGregor, 6-2, 6-2.