Photo: Paul ZimmerStanislas Wawrinka (SUI) and Tomas Berdych (CZE)
The quarterfinal line up for Davis Cup by BNP Paribas was decided on Sunday with all the ties coming to a conclusion incluidng some tension-filled fifth rubbers.
After their respective parts in a thrilling doubles match yesterday Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka returned to the court in Geneva first up and they while there was some stiffness in evidence it was evident that each man was willing to sacrifice everything for their country. Berdych went into a two set lead but Wawrinka refused to cave and gave himself a chance taking the third. The fourth went to a tiebreak where the Swiss No.1 took an early mini-break but was not able to hold his advantage and fell to a 36 46 63 67(5) loss and allow the defending champions to progress.
Czech Republic will now face a trip to Kazakhstan who were also able to finish the job against Austria in the fourth rubber after the visitors had given themselves a hope of a comeback on Saturday. Jurgen Melzer won the first set but Andrey Golubev was spurred on to ease back into the match and seal their progression in the competition.
Marin Cilic gave Croatia hope of a final day comeback when he beat Italian Andreas Seppi in the battle of the No.1s, 63 63 75 but Fabio Fognini, visably fired up by the Turin crowd bought his side home to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 1998 taking out Ivan Dodig 46 64 64 76(3).
The Italian's now face a trip to Canada for the next round after they caused a shock upset of an admittedly understrength Spanish side. Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez had kept the tie alive on Saturday but the former was then replaced by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez for what turned out to the critical rubber against Milos Raonic. The world No.15 wasn't at all fazed by the possibility of sending Canada through to their first World Group quarterfinal match in a century as he dispatched Garcia-Lopez 63 64 62.
Belgium scored victory in both the dead rubbers in Charleroi to give the home fans something to cheer about as David Goffin and Steve Darcis gor their team on the board. Serbia progress to the next round, however, and they will travel to the USA were just able to see off a Brazillian fight back. Having been 2-0 ahead on Friday, the Bryan brothers were edged out in yesterday's doubles and Thomaz Bellucci kept the momentum going upsetting John Isner in five sets to bring the visitors back level. Thiago Alves seemed to be on course to complete a first ever comeback from two behind for the South American nation when he took the first set from Sam Querrey but the dream was crushed despite a valient effort as he fell 46 63 64 64.
France and Argentina both ran out 5-0 winners of their ties against Israel and Germany respectively and are set to meet each other for a sixth time in the quarterfinals. Argentina have never managed to defeat a French side in all their previous meetings but will feel confident heading into this tie with choice of ground.
Click the links below for a full report from each of the World Group first round ties.
- Canada 3-2 Spain
- Italy 3-2 Croatia
- Belgium 2-3 Serbia
- USA 3-2 Brazil
- France 5-0 Israel
- Argentina 5-0 Germany
- Kazakhstan 3-1 Austria
- Switzerland 1-3 Czech Republic