DAVIS CUP FIRST ROUND 2014
Switzerland Triumphs; Czech Republic, Japan, Kazakhstan On The Brink
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com provides a round-up of Saturday’s action in Davis Cup World Group first round ties.
SERBIA 0, SWITZERLAND 3
Spens Sport Centre, Novi Sad, Serbia
Switzerland, the 1992 finalist, has defeated 2010 champion Serbia for a spot in the quarter-finals against Belgium or Kazakhstan. Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer, watched by Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer on the sidelines, maintained their composure to beat Filip Krajinovic and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 in the doubles rubber. "It has been the perfect weekend for us," team captain Severin Luthi told reporters. "It was a great team effort and I couldn’t be happier."
Switzerland previously reached the last eight in 2004.
CZECH REPUBLIC 2, NETHERLANDS 1
Cez Arena, Ostrava, Czech Republic
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek won their 10th straight doubles rubber as a pair for the Czech Republic, the two-time defending champion, to take a 2-1 lead against The Netherlands. Berdych and Stepanek saved 12 break points and hit 16 winners fewer than Dutchmen Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer, but did enough to win 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in just under four hours.
"I think we had a connection from the first moment we came together on the team, having the will and desire to be successful in Davis Cup,” Stepanek said about his partnership with Berdych. “From my side, I have the best partner in the world. I’m happy and lucky to have such a partner. We have a great chemistry between each other and we always back each other up.”
The host nation is attempting to win its 11th straight tie. Berdych is scheduled to play Haase in the first reverse singles rubber on Sunday.
JAPAN 2, CANADA 1
Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan
The host nation is one rubber win away from reaching the World Group quarter-finals for the first time. Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Yasutaka Uchiyama combined to defeat Frank Dancevic and Daniel Nestor 6-3, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 for a 2-1 lead in the tie against last year’s semi-finalist. "My teammate served very well today," said Nishikori. "We kept encouraging each other throughout the match. I thought we played well together. I'm very happy with the result."
On Sunday, Nishikori is set to play Dancevic, while Go Soeda takes on Peter Polansky. Japan has played at home in eight successive ties. Nestor, 41, has had a strong start to 2014, picking up his 83rd doubles trophy with Mariusz Fyrstenberg at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and his fourth Grand Slam mixed doubles crown at the Australian Open (w/ Kristina Mladenovic).
KAZAKHSTAN 2, BELGIUM 1
National Tennis Centre, Astana, Kazakhstan
Belgium has clawed back one point in its bid to reach the World Group quarter-finals for the first time since 2007. Ruben Bemelmans, who replaced teenager Kimmer Coppejans, partnered Olivier Rochus to a 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Kazakhstanis Mikhail Kukushkin and Evgeny Korolev in just under four hours. Kazakhstan leads 2-1 overall, with Kukushkin set to challenge Belgian David Goffin in Sunday's first reverse singles rubber.