Davis Cup Recap: Raonic, Querrey, Berdych Shine
Canada d. Spain 3-2
Milos Raonic led Canada into its first Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinal with an opening rubber win over Albert Ramos in 4 and a tie clinching 4th rubber win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in straights. Frank Dancevic also won the 2nd rubber over Marcel Granollers in dominant straight sets fashion and in the dead 5th rubber Ramos beat Dancevic. Granollers and Marc Lopez had kept the tie alive with a doubles rubber win over Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in 5 sets.
The Spanish lost their first opening round DC WG tie since 2006 and as previously mentioned, Canada is proud of having reached their first WG Quarterfinal. They dominated the proceedings with home support and the indoor hard court surface.
Italy d. Croatia 3-2
In one of two DC WG matches that featured a live 5th rubber, Italy triumphed over Croatia. Marin Cilic got Croatia off to a solid start with a 5 set win over a tenacious Paolo Lorenzi, but Andreas Seppi countered with a win over Ivan Dodig in 4.
In the doubles rubber, Simone Bolleli and Fabio Fognini beat Cilic and Dodig. Later, Cilic came back to beat Seppi in straights to keep the tie alive.
Fabio Fognini would then clinch it for the Italians, winning 4 sets over a fatigued Dodig and sending the boys in blue and green into the next round where they will face Canada.
Serbia d. Belgium 3-2
Viktor Troicki and Novak Djokovic got the job done for Serbia, which won the first three rubbers, including the doubles to clinch the tie. Troicki came back from a listless 2 sets down in the opening rubber to win in 5 sets over David Goffin 1-6 3-6 7-6 6-4 6-4 before Djokovic rolled over Olli Rochus in straights. Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic beat Steve Darcis and Ruben Bemelmans in the doubles rubber in 4 sets to seal the result.
In the dead rubbers, Goffin won in 3 sets over Serbian backup player Boris Pashanski and the accomplished doubles player Zimonjic played a tournament singles match for the first time in about 5 years. He fell to Steve Darcis in straights.
This result was expected, but credit to Troicki for the comeback. The Serbs will face the USA in the next round.
USA d. Brazil 3-2
The United States struggled but got the win over Brazil in a sparsely attended tie. Sam Querrey started things off right with a straight sets win over Thomaz Bellucci and John Isner gave the US a 2-0 lead heading into Saturday with a straight sets win over Thiago Alves. Then Brazil began to fight back, with Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares upsetting the usually dependable Bryan brothers and Thomaz Bellucci grabbing a 4th rubber win over John Isner in 5 sets. Sam Querrey would shut the door though, beating Alves in 4 and getting the US to the next round.
Isner seems to be slumping and is still not 100%. That is one thing we can take from this tie. He was frustrated after yet another 5 set loss.
France d. Israel 5-0
France walloped Israel as expected: with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga winning in 4 sets over Amir Weintraub, Richard Gasquet winning in straights over Dudi Sela and Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra clinching the tie with an easy doubles win over Jonathan Erlich and Sela.
In the dead rubbers, Llodra beat retired Israeli player Noam Okun in straights and Gasquet beat Weintraub.
Argentina d. Germany 5-0
Argentina pulled off the surprise of the weekend in whitewashing Germany. Carlos Berlocq got the momentum started with a 5 set win, by retirement, against Phillip Kohlschreiber. Kohlschreiber went down with a leg injury at the end of the 5th set. That was followed up by Juan Monaco beating Florian Mayer in 4 and David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos winning the doubles over Tobias Kamke and Christopher Kas in 4.
In the dead rubbers, Monaco beat Kamke in straights and Berlocq beat the doubles specialist Kas in the same fashion.
Mayer withdrew from playing the 5th rubber because of a virus. Berlocq will be pumped up from carrying his team and they will face France in the next round.
Kazakhstan d. Austria 3-1
The Kazakhs led by Andrey Golubev beat a disappointing Austrian team. Golubev beat Andreas Haider-Maurer in the opening rubber and Evgeny Korolev upset Jurgen Melzer both in straight sets to give Kazakstan a 2-0 lead heading into Saturday.
Alexander Peya and Julian Knowle kept the tie alive for Austria by winning the doubles over Golubev and Yuriy Schukin, but Golubev came back and upset Melzer again on Sunday in 4 sets to clinch the tie. Both sides mutually agreed to not play a 5th rubber, so the tie ended 3-1.
Czech Republic d. Switzerland 3-2
The Czech Republic kept their DC repeat hopes alive in thrilling weekend fashion with a tight victory over the Swiss. Stan Wawrinka got the Swiss off to a good start with a straight sets win over Lukas Rosol, but Tomas Berdych countered with a 4 set win over Henri Laaksonen. The doubles rubber was the key though, as Berdych and Rosol won the longest DC doubles match in history 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-7 24-22 over Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli. The match went over 7 hours and Wawrinka/Chiudinelli saved a dozen match points before eventually losing. It was purely epic for a doubles match and the second longest in tennis history.
The next day, Berdych clinched the tie with a 4 set win over Wawrinka and in the dead rubber Laaksonen beat Jiri Vesely in 3. Berdych is close to becoming a DC legend after another outstanding performance for his country. Next up is Kazakhstan.
In other DC action outside the world group, Australia powered by Lleyton Hewitt and Matt Ebden won 5-0 over Taiwan and will face Uzbekistan in the next round. Also, South Korea beat India and will face Japan in Asia/Oceania group 1.
In Europe/Africa group 1, Poland led by Jerzy Janowicz won 3-2 over Slovenia (with a dead 5th rubber) and will face South Africa. Meanwhile, Alexandr Dolgopolov helped Ukraine to a 3-2 over Slovakia, though it was Ilya Marchenko that came in to clinch the tie with a 5th rubber win. Ukraine gets Sweden in the next round. Romania also advanced easily and will play the Netherlands.
In one other notable result from Europe/Africa group 2, Finland shocked Grigor Dimitrov and Bulgaria 3-2. Big wins by Harri Heliovaara and Micke Kontinen, a couple of lesser-known players.