Photo: Paul ZimmerThe scoreboard
The Davis Cup picture became much clearer on Saturday as some nations booked their places in this year's quarterfinals whilst others were able to keep their hopes alive having lost both singles rubbers yesterday.
The match of the day took place in Geneva as Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol duelled for over seven hours against Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli for the right to take a 2-1 lead into Sunday. The Czech's were always ahead in the match and having failed to convert 12 match points they were gifted the rubber thanks to a double fault caused in part by the strains of the second longest tennis match ever played. It was also the longest final set in terms of games with the scoreboard ending at 64 57 64 67(3) 2422.
Italy edged into the lead in Turin when they managed to come from a set behind against Croatia. Fabio Fognini was restored to the team alongside Simone Bolelli and despite dropping the first set managed to regroup and storm back in the next two. The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair with Italy first taking a break before Maric Cilic and Ivan Dodig managed to retaliate and send it to a tiebreak. The hosts squandered a number of match points while also saving a set point before finally triumphing 36 61 63 76(11).
Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki sealed Serbia's place in the next round thanks to a 64 64 57 64 victory over Belgium's Steve Darcis and Ruben Bemelmans in Charleroi. World No.1 Novak Djokovic and Troicki had put the visitors in a commanding position on the opening day and there was no mistake from them today as they go ahead to face either USA or Brazil.
France and Argentina also both progressed and will face each other for a place in the semifinals. Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra continued their fine form in the compeititon in doubles seeing off Jonathan Erlich and Dudi Sela, 76(3) 61 60. David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos were the men to send Argentina through dropping just a single set to Christopher Kas and Tobias Kamke. Argentina will now be looking for a first ever victory over France having lost all five of the previous meetings but will have choice of ground this time around.
Austria were able to keep in their tie against Kazkhstan thanks to victory from Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya who ran out comfortable 76(5) 63 76(3) winners against Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin in Astana. This gives Jurgen Melzer a chance to atone for his loss in his opening singles when he takes on Golubev in the first of Sunday's reverse singles rubbers and keep the comeback alive.
Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo caused a huge upset by defeating the Bryan brothers in a Davis Cup doubles rubber and in so doing kept Brazil's hopes alive in Jacksonville. The visitors needed five sets but finally prevailed 76(6) 67(7) 64 36 63 in a gripping encounter. It was just the Bryans' third-ever doubles loss as a team in the competition.
Spain were also made to work hard and eventually came through another five-set match to stave off an early exit from Davis Cup play. Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez edged out a combative display by Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil to triumph 46 64 67(4) 63 62 in just under fours hours.
- Canada 2-1 Spain
- Italy 2-1 Croatia
- Belgium 0-3 Serbia
- USA 2-1 Brazil
- France 3-0 Israel
- Argentina 3-0 Germany
- Kazakhstan 2-1 Austria
- Switzerland 1-2 Czech Republic