Sweden, Argentina Lead; Capdeville A Hero For Chile
World Group, First Round
by ATP Staff|
SWEDEN 2 RUSSIA 0
Boras, Sweden; Hard, Indoor
World No. 4 Robin Soderling made the perfect start for Sweden as he dismissed Russia’s Igor Andreev 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. The 26-year-old Soderling is on a 10-match winning streak, having come into the first-round tie after winning back-to-back ATP World Tour titles in Rotterdam (d. Tsonga) and Marseille (d. Cilic).
“From the start I was hitting the ball well, I was moving well and after I got the first break I felt in control of the match," said Soderling. "After the first set I played really, really well. It’s very nice to see a full house like this. The crowd was cheering me on a lot which was great."
Playing just his eighth competitive match in 22 months, former World No. 9 Joachim Johansson recorded his first Davis Cup victory since 2005 as he backed up Soderling’s win with a 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over World No. 76 Teymuraz Gabashvili. The 28-year-old Johansson, who has dropped to No. 749 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings after a bout of injuries, fired 33 aces, broke serve twice and saved the only break point he faced to win in two hours and 37 minutes.
“Since my first shoulder surgery I haven’t really served that well on the second serve,” said Johansson. “But in the last month I’ve been trying to step it up and hit every second serve around the 200kmh mark. I'm really happy with that and I only hit one double fault today. It’s always tough when you haven’t played many matches, but this is the level I feel like I’ve been producing in practice. Everything I practised with my coach, Magnus Norman, over the past month paid off.”
CHILE 1 USA 1
Santiago, Chile; Clay, Outdoors
World No. 165 Paul Capdeville was the toast of Chile Friday when he fended off 38 aces from World No. 32 John Isner to level the tie with the United States at 1-1 in Santiago. It was a stunning result for the 27 year old who last won a tour-level match more than a year ago, also in Santiago, in February 2010. Additionally, in his last Davis Cup outing, against Czech Jan Hajek in July last year, Capeville suffered a humiliating 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 defeat on home soil.
After the first four sets were decided by tie-breaks – the first time that had happened in a Davis Cup match featuring the United States – Capdeville claimed the decisive break of serve to go ahead 5-4 in the fifth set. Isner, who had previously saved all nine break points he had faced in the match, slipped behind 0/40. He saved a 10th break point but then fatigue-induced poor footwork proved fatal when he netted an overhead. Shortly after, Isner slipped to a 0-3 Davis Cup singles record when Capdeville closed out the match after 4 hrs., 22 mins.
Earlier in the day World No. 8 Andy Roddick successfully returned to the United States Davis Cup fold when he overcame Chilean Nicolas Massu 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 49 minutes to give the visiting nation a 1-0 lead. The American saved five of the six break points he faced and capitalised on four of his 11 opportunities.
Roddick was instrumental in leading the USA to its 32nd Davis Cup title in 2007, but did not compete in 2010 as he looked to protect his body from injury. Without Roddick, the USA was beaten in the first round by eventual champion Serbia in the first round last year.
ARGENTINA 2 ROMANIA 0
Buenos Aires, Argentina; Clay, Outdoor
Three-time Davis Cup runner-up Argentina will take a commanding 2-0 lead over Romania into the second day of their Davis Cup first-round clash after wins for David Nalbandian and Juan Monaco in Buenos Aires on Friday.
World No. 19 Nalbandian clinched his 21st Davis Cup singles win as he battled through a hernia to beat Adrian Ungur 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and four minutes. “I can’t walk a single step," said Nalbandian afterwards. "I felt really bad since the first set. I could [only] finish the match because this is Davis Cup... Here, I play for my country, with my people supporting me and that is a great motivation."
Monaco then finished strongly to post a 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory in two hours and 50 minutes over Romanian No. 1 Victor Hanescu.
CZECH REPUBLIC 1 KAZAKHSTAN 1
Ostrava, Czech Republic; Hard, Indoor
In a gripping five-set opening rubber in Ostrava, Andrey Golubev gave World Group debutant Kazakhstan a 1-0 lead over the Czech Republic as he defeated Jan Hajek 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 in three hours and 37 minutes. However, World No. 7 Tomas Berdych hit back for the host nation as he cruised past Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-3 in two hours and 39 minutes to record his 15th Davis Cup singles victory.
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