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Nadal, Ferrer Help Spain To 2-1 Lead After Easy Wins

World Group, First Round

David Ferrer, Novak Djokovic© AFP/Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer, Novak Djokovic

Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic kept Serbia's first round hopes alive as they defeated Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-6(7) in Benidorm, Spain on Saturday. Spain leads 2-1 going into Sunday's reverse singles matches.

The singles matches were postponed Friday due to safety concerns after some of the stands were damaged from strong winds that affected the region on Thursday. After the singles matches were played early on Saturday, both countries agreed to play the doubles match. It was the first time three matches were held on one day in a Davis Cup World Group tie according to International Tennis Federation officials.
         
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal cruised to a 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 victory over Janko Tipsarevic to give the defending Davis Cup champions a 2-0 lead.

Nadal rolled to his 11th consecutive Davis Cup singles victory since losing in his debut to Jiri Novak in February 2004. Nadal is 11-1 lifetime in Cup singles play. The three games lost were the fewest in a Davis Cup match.

The 22-year-old Spaniard improved to 14-2 on the season in his '09 clay court debut. Since 2005 Nadal has compiled a sparkling 132-4 record on clay.

Nadal converted seven of 14 break points and saved the only two break points he faced in the one hour and 36-minute match. He fired 27 winners compared to Tipsarevic's nine and overall won 88 points to 46.

In the opening rubber, David Ferrer (pictured) defeated top Serbian and World No. 3 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(4) in two hours and 50 minutes, to give the hosts an early lead.

Ferrer jumped out to a two set lead after breaking Djokovic six times. In the third set both players exchanged breaks before Ferrer closed out the match in the tie-break.

Ferrer converted seven of 15 break points while saving nine of 13 break points on his serve. Ferrer won 77 per cent of first serve points compared to Djokovic's 65 per cent. Djokovic committed 59 unforced errors to Ferrer's 30 while hitting 37 winners to the Spaniard's 26.

Ferrer improved to 3-0 on clay against Djokovic and evened their career meetings at 4-4. One week ago they met in the final of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, which Djokovic won 7-5, 6-3.

In doubles, Troicki and Zimonjic, playing for only the second time together, never were broken in their straight-sets win over Lopez and Robredo, who were teaming up for the first time in Davis Cup play.

Troicki and Zimonjic previously paired together at the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie last September against the Slovak Republic, winning in four sets.

The only break in the match came in the second set as the Serbs went up 4-3 and then held serve the last two games. In the third set, Lopez and Robredo were up 6-4 in the tie-break but couldn't close out the set as Troicki and Zimonjic rallied back to secure the victory in two hours and 28 minutes.

On Sunday, Djokovic and Nadal will meet for the 15th time (Nadal leads 10-4) as the Serb tries to win for the first time on clay (0-5).

U.S., Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany Take 2-1 Leads After Doubles Action

United States 2 Switzerland 1

Bob and Mike Bryan recorded their U.S. Davis Cup record 15th doubles win as they defeated Switzerland's Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday.

The Bryans improved to 15-2 lifetime together and gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead going into Sunday's reverse singles matches.

The Bryans broke Allegro in the eighth game of the opening set and in the third game of the second set to take early control. In the third set, Mike Bryan was broken in the eighth game as Wawrinka hit a backhand winner on the Swiss' first break point of the match. Both teams never faced a break point in the fourth set, forcing a tie-break, which the Bryans dominated. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead and closed out the two hour and 26 minute match with a Bob Bryan overhead smash.

The Bryans, who are No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings, are off to a career-best 16-1 start with an ATP World Tour-best three titles (Sydney, Australian Open, Delray Beach).
 
Allegro and Wawrinka were competing together for the first time since last April when they played in a Davis Cup tie against Belarus. They are 6-8 lifetime and 0-3 in Cup competition.

Czech Republic 2 France 1

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek gave the host Czech Republic a 2-1 lead after defeating Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 in Ostrava on Saturday.
  
Berdych and Stepanek improved to 3-0 together in Davis Cup play as they converted four of seven break points and lost their serve twice, both times coming in the second set. In fact, the Czech duo never faced a break point in the other three sets of the two hour and four minute match.

Berdych and Stepanek compiled an 84 per cent first serve mark and won 64 per cent of second serve points compared to the Frenchmen's 50 per cent.

Overall, Berdych is 6-0 in doubles and Stepanek 5-1 in Davis Cup doubles play. Meanwhile, Gasquet was making his Cup doubles debut and it was also the first time he teamed with Llodra.

Sweden 2 Israel 1

The veteran duo of Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt posted a 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 win over Israelis Amir Hadad and Andy Ram to give host Sweden a 2-1 lead in Malmo on Saturday.
 
Both teams were broken twice but the difference in the two hour and 34-minute match was second serve points won. The Swedes won 80 per cent to the Israelis 48 per cent.

Aspelin and Lindstedt won for the first time together in Davis Cup play (1-1) and avenged last year's first round loss to Jonathan Erlich and Ram in Israel. Overall, Aspelin is 3-6 and Lindstedt 1-2 in Davis Cup doubles competition. It was the first time Hadad and Ram were playing together in Davis Cup and the first time since the Zagreb Challenger in May 2003.
 
Germany 2 Austria 1

Nicolas Kiefer and Philipp Kohlschreiber, playing for only the second time together, beat Austrians Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya 6-3, 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4, to give Germany a 2-1 advantage in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on Saturday.

The only previous time Kiefer and Kohlschreiber teamed up was in Halle last June. Kiefer is now 2-2 in Davis Cup doubles and Kohlschreiber 2-1. Kiefer's previous win in doubles came in September 2002 in a World Group qualifying tie against Venezuela.

Ther Germans converted five of 18 break points in the three hour and 15-minute match while the Austrians were five of 15 on break point chances. Kiefer and Kohlschreiber won 55 per cent on second serve points to Knowle and Peya's 41 per cent.

Croatia, Argentina First Into Quarter-finals; Romania Stays Alive

Croatia 3 Chile 0

Mario Ancic and Marin Cilic gave Croatia an unsurmountable 3-0 lead and put their country into the quarter-finals with a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Chileans Paul Capdeville and Nicolas Massu in Porec, Croatia on Saturday.

Ancic and Cilic converted seven of 13 break points while losing serve four times in the two hour and 29 minute match. The Croats fired 14 aces and won 65 per cent of second serve points to their opponents' 41 per cent.

Ancic improved to 8-2 in Davis Cup doubles play and Cilic to 2-2, winning both times with Ancic.
    
Croatia, the Davis Cup champion in 2005, advance to the quarter-finals for the fifth time (or better) and they will face the winner of United States and Switzerland in July.

Argentina 3 Netherlands 0

Lucas Arnold-Ker and Martin Vasallo Arguello helped host Argentina into the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Dutchmen Jesse Huta Galung and Rogier Wassen in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

The Argentines, playing under new captain Tito Vasquez, advanced to the quarter-finals (or better) for the eighth consecutive year and they will travel to either the Czech Republic or France in July. Argentina won easily without using their top two players Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian, both who helped their country to last year's final.

Arnold-Ker, who was playing Davis Cup for the first time in five years, improved his career record to 10-3 in Cup play while Vassallo Arguello, who reached the semi-finals in Acapulco last week, was making his Cup debut.

“The guys worked very hard during the week to be a competitive couple,” said Vasquez. “Martin joined us last Tuesday and yet he did a great job today playing with Lucas.”

Russia 2 Romania 1

The first-time Romanian pairing of Marius Copil and Horia Tecau rallied to upset Russians Marat Safin and Dimitry Tusunov 4-6, 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 7-6(5), 6-4 in a 4:02 marathon in Sibiu, Romania on Saturday. Russia leads the first round tie 2-1 going into Sunday's reverse singles matches.

Safin replaced Teimuraz Gabashvili in the line-up and the Russians were on the verge of a sweep until Copil and Tecau came back for the victory. The decisive break came in the third game of the fifth set as the Romanians completed the comeback. Both teams won 176 points and broke twice in the tightly-contested match.

It was Romania's first Davis Cup tie under new captain Andrei Pavel, who inserted the 18-year-old Copil into the line-up.

Russia is attempting to reach the quarter-finals (or better) for the 10th time in the past 11 years. The only time they lost in the first round during that span was in 2004 to Belarus.

 

 

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