Mexico's doubles team, 27-year-old Raul Ramirez and 17-year-old Jorge Lozano, wanted rallies and a long match in today's first-round Davis Cup competion.
Their idea was to use the long rallies to erode the confidence and endurance of the favored Americans, Marty Riessen, 39, and Sherwood Steward, 34.
Ramirez and Lozano got everything they wanted and came away with a 6-4, 3-6, 9-7 6-3 win in 3 hours 27 minutes. Thus Mexico holds a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-three series going into a pair of singles matches Sunday.
Lozano, a virtual unknown from Guadalajara, could advance Mexico to the second round if he can upset Roscoe Tanner in Sunday's first match.
More than likely, the match will come down to the finale -- Ramirez against John McEnroe.
"Anything can happen," said Ramirez, who beat Tanner in singles play Friday. "Tanner has to be nervous. Jorge's got nothing to lose. Tanner has all the pressure. If Tanner wins, McEnroe will have all the pressure."
And that is the way it has been this weekend for the Mexican team. Evertything to gain, very little to lose, Ramirez, for one, has been very animated, playing to and playing with the crowd.
The Americans, by contrast, have seemed serious and tense.
Ramirez, citing the ages of Riessen and Stewart, said: "I thought they would get tired. I was sure they were going to by the fifth set. My partner's young. I told him. "If I get tired, you're running.'"
Lozano laughted. He made the most critical shots in the most critical game of the fifth set, when the Mexicans broke Riessen's service for the first time.