Doubles trouble keeps U.S. from Davis clincher


ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- After being matched almost identically through four sets, Paul Haarhuis and Jacco Eltingh brought experience into the equation yesterday.

It was enough to lift the Dutch Davis Cup pair to a 2-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 victory over the rookie duo of Richey Reneberg and Jared Palmer to cut the U.S. lead to 2-1 in the quarterfinal series.

"They were slight favorites on paper, and they slightly won," U.S. captain Tom Gullikson said of the Dutch team.

"A good doubles team knows what each are doing instinctively and there is no hesitation," Gullikson said. "In the fifth set they clicked pretty well."

Haarhuis and Eltingh have played together since the 1992 U.S. Open. Reneberg and Palmer had played just two tournaments together and were making their Davis Cup debut as a team before 8,000 Dutch partisans.

"Richey and Jared have the potential to be a good team," Gullikson said.

The United States still must like its chances of winning the three-of-five match series: No. 1 Pete Sampras leads off against Richard Krajicek today.

Sampras is the reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion. He overwhelmed Eltingh on Friday, losing only four games.

Jim Courier, the former top-ranked player, had been equally impressive in beating Krajicek in Friday's first match when the Americans took a 2-0 lead. Courier will play Eltingh in the fifth match.

Haarhuis appeared to remain optimistic.

"If they keep thinking of how they played Friday, maybe they will play a little less," he said. He also suggested, "They may trip up and twist an ankle."

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