Davis Cup 2018: Germany and France take 2-1 leads heading into final day of ties

Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz
The doubles rubber was Tim Puetz's (right) second Davis Cup appearance

Germany took a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup World Group tie against Australia after Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff won a tough five-set doubles rubber.

The duo beat John Peers and Matt Ebden 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 in three hours and 17 minutes in Brisbane.

German world number five Alexander Zverev will play Nick Kyrgios in the first singles rubber on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson gave the United States an unassailable 3-0 lead in Serbia.

The Americans beat Nikola Milojevic and Miljan Zekic 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 7-5 6-4 in Nis to reach April's quarter-finals, while Kazakhstan also secured their place in the last eight after their doubles victory over Switzerland in Astana.

Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler and Luca Margaroli 6-4 6-4 3-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

Defending champions France and fourth seeds Croatia took 2-1 leads after victories in their respective doubles matches.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert joined up with Nicolas Mahut for France to beat the Netherlands' Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-2) in Albertville.

Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig came from two sets down to give hosts Croatia a 2-1 lead against Canada, defeating 45-year-old Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil 2-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2 in Osijek.

There was also a doubles win for Italy's Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, who beat beat Japan's Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama in Morioka to go 2-1 up.

Hungary's Marton Fucsovics and Attila Balazs held off a fightback from Belgium's Joris de Loore and Ruben Bemelmans to win 6-3 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 4-6 7-5 in Liege and keep the tie alive with the hosts' lead cut to 2-1.

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