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Spain, Sweden and Argentina sail into Davis Cup quarter-finals

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-05

Spain, Sweden and Argentina sailed into the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup on Saturday, after securing victories in the World Group first round.

AFP - Spain, Argentina and Sweden booked their spots in the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Saturday after sealing victories in their doubles ties to give them unassailable 3-0 leads in the World Group first round.

Defending champions Serbia pulled 2-1 ahead of India after a thrilling battle in Belgrade as France lead Austria by the same scoreline in Vienna and the United States also hold a 2-1 advantage over Chile.

The Rafael Nadal-inspired Spaniards came away 3-0 winners against hosts Belgium at Charleroi after Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez beat Steve Darcis and Olivier Rochus 7-6 (7/0), 6-4, 6-3.

The Spanish line-up, which included three top ten players, left no chance to their Belgium rivals who were without a top 50 player. The visitors were also helped by the choice of synthetic surface which perfectly suited their slow style of play.

World number one Nadal beat 144-ranked Ruben Bemelmans 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 on Friday with Fernando Verdasco downing Belgium's top player Xavier Malisse 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

Spanish captain Albert Costa said: "In sport, everything can change on a few points. What is now 3-0 could easily have been 2-1, so we are happy.

"We have done a good job all week, and my players adapted to the court really well. It's now time to enjoy this victory."

Spain are seeking a third Davis Cup win in four years after 2008 and 2009.

They will meet the winners of the tie between the United States and Chile in July with doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan putting the Americans ahead in Santiago with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) success over Jorge Aguilar and Nicolas Massu.

In Buenos Aires, Juan Ignacio Chela showed he has returned to top form after a two-year absense following injuries by teaming up with Eduardo Schwank to defeat Romania's Victor Hanescu and Horia Tecau for an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Argentina captain Tito Vazquez admitted: "We expected to win, we knew we had chances to win the five matches, but also we could lose them all, too. So, to be 3-0 on the second day is just perfect. We cannot wish any better than that."

David Nalbandian and Juan Monaco had given the hosts a 2-0 advantage on Friday.

Argentina will next play either the Czech Republic or Kazakhstan.

In Boraas, Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt saw seven-time champions Sweden past Russia's Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 after Robin Soderling and Joachim Johansson won Friday's singles.

Sweden will have a home quarter-final against the winner of the tie between defending champions Serbia and India which will be decided on Sunday.

In Belgrade, Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic saw off battling Indian pair Rohan Bopanna and Somdev Devvarman 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (12/10) to give the hosts a 2-1 lead after a nail-biting final set.

The tie-break was even more dramatic with the Serbian pair saving a set point after a thrilling rally before sealing victory with a winning backhand volley from Zimonjic.

Somdev Devvarman defeated Janko Tipsarevic to pull India level at 1-1 on the opening day after Viktor Troicki put Serbia into the lead by beating Rohan Bopanna.

In Sunday's reverse singles Troicki plays Devvarman and Tipsarevic takes on Bopanna.

In Vienna, Jurgen Melzer and Oliver Marach kept Austria's hopes alive against France, shocking Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles. The French, who lost in the final last year to Serbia, won both of Friday's opening rubbers.

Sunday will see Melzer take on in-form Frenchman Gilles Simon while Jeremy Chardy, who defeated Melzer in the opening rubber, is then set to take on Stefan Koubek.

Elsewhere the Czech Republic lead Kazakhstan 2-1 in Ostrava and Germany have a 2-1 advantage over Croatia in Zagreb.

Date created : 2011-03-05

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