The makeshift doubles pair of Ken Flach and Paul Annacone defeated Australia's Pat Cash and John Fitzgerald in a five-set match at Brisbane, Australia, today to keep alive the United States' hopes of winning the Davis Cup semifinal.
The 8-10, 1-6, 7-5, 13-11, 9-7 victory pulled the United States within 2-1 in the best-of-five series, with two singles matches scheduled Monday. Brad Gilbert is paired against Cash in one, Tim Mayotte against Australia's Paul McNamee in the other.
The singles were to have been played Sunday but were pushed back a day. A Davis Cup rule exempts a player who has taken part in more than 30 games in a doubles match from playing singles on the same day.
The match, which was begun Saturday but delayed after three sets because of darkness, lasted 4 hours 56 minutes, with the Americans performing superbly under a blazing sun and in front of a fiercely pro-Australian crowd.
Annacone, from Bridgehampton, N.Y., and Flach, from Sebring, Fla., had never played together before in Davis Cup competition. Annacone was making his Davis Cup debut as a replacement for Flach's regular partner, Robert Seguso, who is injured.
"No one else seems to think we can win this tie, but the team doesn't think that way," Annacone said. "We've got a lot of guts, and winning the doubles will give the team a big emotional uplift."
"We are looking at this like a football game," American captain Tom Gorman said. "Australia won in the first half, but now we have to win the second half."
The Australians had five match points during the fourth set, but Annacone and Flach held firm.
The Americans finally broke Fitzgerald's serve in the 25th game of the fourth set to level the match. Fitzgerald incurred a service break in the fifth set that decided the match.
In the other Davis Cup semifinal, Czechoslovakia scored a doubles victory over Sweden at Prague, Czechoslovakia, narrowing the Swedes' lead in the best-of-five series to 2-1.
The Czech team of Tomas Smid and Miloslav Mecir took 1 hour 52 minutes for their 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd.
At New Orleans, Martina Navratilova shook off an ankle injury in the third set to defeat Zina Garrison, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, to reach the final of the $150,000 Virginia Slims of New Orleans tournament.
Navratilova injured her left ankle with Garrison serving at 3-0 in the third set but came back to win six straight games.
"Her passing shots were really well-placed, but she didn't have as much of a serve-and-volley game as I thought she would," Navratilova said of Garrison.
In the other semifinal match, Pam Shriver defeated Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini, 7-6, 6-3.
Top-seeded Helena Sukova of Czechoslovakia and Catherine Tanvier of France advanced to the final of the $75,000 Dutch Open Indoor tournament at Loosdrecht.
Sukova, ranked sixth in the world, took 69 minutes to defeat Raffaella Reggi of Italy, 6-1, 6-3. Tanvier downed Sylvia Hanika of West Germany, 6-2, 6-4.