Photo: Paul ZimmerPhilipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
The German team built a 2-0 lead over five-time champions Spain on the first day of action in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group first round on Friday.
Philipp Kohlschreiber began proceedings with a straightforward 62 64 62 victory over debutant Roberto Bautista Agut before one of the most thrilling rubbers of the day ensued on the courts of the Fraport Arena in Frankfurt.
Florian Mayer appeared on course to put the hosts in a commanding position only to see a hard-won two set lead disappear as he battled through a shoulder injury, which the world No. 29 sustained on one of multiple match points that slipped through his grasp as Spain’s Feliciano Lopez pulled the match back level.
The German No. 3 seemed to recover into the fifth set and refound the form that had given him the lead to complete a 76(6) 76(4) 16 57 63 victory in three hours and 51 minutes.
Spain are now on the brink of a second successive defeat in the first round of the competition having lost to Canada at the same stage last year. Germany, meanwhile, are looking to make the quarterfinals for the fourth time in five attempts.
There is another huge upset on the cards as Great Britain finished day one in San Diego 2-0 up against USA following victories for Andy Murray and James Ward over Donald Young and Sam Querrey respectively.
Elsewhere Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka fought off a spirited performance from Serbia to lead 2-0 entering tomorrow’s doubles. France and Switzerland lead by the same scoreline against Belgium and Australia respectively.
Defending champions Czech Republic survived a scare as Radek Stepanek was beaten by Robin Haase in the first rubber only for Tomas Berdych to emphatically defeat Igor Sijsling 63 63 60 and restore parity with both Czech singles players likely coming in to play the doubles.
Japan against Canada remains poised at 1-1 after both No. 1 players achieved victory on the opening day and the same series of results occurred in Mar del Plata with Carlos Berlocq earning the lead for Argentina before Fabio Fognini scored the second point on offer.
You can view the full draw stories for this weekend’s ties by clicking the relevant tie below:
World Group first round
Czech Republic 1-1 Netherlands
Japan 1-1 Canada
Germany 2-0 Spain
France 2-0 Australia
USA 0-2 Great Britain
Argentina 1-1 Italy
Kazakhstan 2-0 Belgium
Serbia 0-2 Switzerland