France secures spot in Davis Cup quarter-finals, Serbia defends title
Last year's runners-up France secured a spot in the Davis Cup quarter-finals Sunday, alongside Germany, the US and defending champions Serbia. Newcomer Kazakhstan upset the Czech Republic with a World Group first round tie.
AFP - Serbia fired the first shot in their bid to defend their Davis Cup title on Sunday as they advanced past India into the quarter-finals as newcomers Kazakhstan shocked the Czech Republic in their World Group first round tie.
Last year's runners-up France, Germany and the United States also sealed their spots in the last eight to join Spain, Argentina and Sweden who had already advanced on Saturday.
Serbia booked a clash with Sweden after coming away 4-1 winners in Novi Sad over India, as Germany's tie with Croatia went down to the wire in Zagreb before the visitors went through 3-2. They next meet France who were pushed hard before beating Austria 3-2 in Vienna.
But Kazakhstan provided the biggest upset of the weekend in their first appearance in the World Group as they took to the court to beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in Ostrava just hours after finding their hotel rooms had been burgled.
Andrey Golubev, ranked 43, shocked Tomas Berdych 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, in the day's first reverse singles as the world number seven showed the strain of playing three days in a row.
Mikhail Kukushkin, ranked 63, was then feted as a hero by dominating Jan Hajek 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (10/8), 6-0 to seal the decisive point.
The Kazakhs next meet Argentina after the South Americans beat Romania 4-1 in Buenos Aires. Eduardo Schwank eased past Victor Crivoi 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 with Adrian Ungur getting a point back for the visitors with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 win over Juan Monaco.
Viktor Troicki, who became a national hero in Serbia after beating France's Michael Llodra in December to win the Davis Cup title, lived up to his reputation and beat Somdev Devvarman 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 to give his side an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Janko Tipsarevic then beat India's Karan Rastogi 6-0, 6-1 in the final dead rubber.
"We won and that's the most important. It wasn't easy but we fought back with a lot of heart," Troicki said.
"It's a great feeling to be in the last eight of the competition ... it also gives us a chance to carry on with our title defence."
In Santiago, Andy Roddick scored the winning point for the United States when he defeated Chile's Paul Capdeville 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3, 6-3, to set up a last eight tie against Spain.
Roddick came back after dropping a set to beat Capdeville in just over three hours after doubles specialists Bob and Mike Bryan had put the USA ahead on Saturday with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) success over Jorge Aguilar and Nicolas Massu.
"My plan was to make him work hard," said Roddick. "I knew I was fresher, I had better legs and that won me the match."
The Rafael Nadal-inspired Spaniards beat Belgium 4-1 at Charleroi.
World number one Nadal overwhelmed Olivier Rochus 6-4, 6-2 in the first of the day's reverse singles, after slaying 144-ranked Ruben Bemelmans 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 on Friday.
Steve Darcis got a point back for Belgium beating Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) in the final dead rubber.
Spain are seeking a third Davis Cup win in four years after 2008 and 2009.
Philipp Petzschner ensured Germany advanced in Zagreb following a three-set tussle with big-hitting Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5), who set a new world record with a 251km per hour serve on Saturday.
Marin Cilic had pulled Croatia level 2-2 by beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) in the first of the day's reverse singles.
France meanwhile battled into the next round with Jeremy Chardy scoring the decisive point with a 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-3 win over Martin Fischer which sets up a meeting with Germany in July.
"The important thing is to advance. Next time maybe it will be another who will get two points," said Chardy, who was the hero of the weekend as he also achieved their first point by beating world number ten Jurgen Melzer in Friday's opening match.
Earlier Melzer beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 to level 2-2 to the delight of the crowd packed into a hanger at Vienna airport.
"We qualified in pain but with extraordinary matches," said France captain Guy Forget.
In Boraas, Russia saved face by winning their two reverse singles after seven-time champions Sweden took an unassailable 3-0 lead on Saturday.
Dmitry Tursunov beat Simon Aspelin 7-5, 6-2 and Igor Andreev saw off Joachim Johansson 7-6 (10/8), 6-4 for a final 3-2 scoreline.