Serbia beat India in Davis Cup Opener | Serbia won Opener
Serbia beat India in Davis Cup Opener: Holders Serbia completed a 4-1 Davis Cup victory over India on Sunday with Germany joining them in the quarterfinals after Philipp Petzschner clinched victory in a thriller in Croatia. World Group debutants Kazakhstan provided the biggest shock of the first round, winning both of Sunday’s reverse singles to beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in Ostrava.
Last year’s runners-up France also squeezed through despite a valiant Austrian fightback in Vienna. Andy Roddick smoothed the United States’ path to a quarterfinal match at home to Spain, beating Chile’s Paul Capdeville to give his side a 3-1 lead in Santiago. Spain, Argentina and Sweden had all wrapped up their World Group first round ties by taking unassailable leads over Belgium, Romania and Russia respectively on Saturday.
World No 1 Rafael Nadal used Sunday’s dead rubber as some useful practice, beating Belgium’s Olivier Rochus 6-4 6-2.
Unfancied India had fought toe-to-toe with Serbia in Novi Sad during Friday and Saturday to trail 2-1. Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, playing as his country’s top player in the absence of world No 3 Novak Djokovic, finished the job.
Troicki, who won the decisive fifth rubber when Serbia beat France in last year’s final in Belgrade, was too strong for Somdev Devvarman, winning 6-4 6-2 7-5 in the first reverse singles to set up a July quarterfinal in Sweden.
“It is a great feeling to be in the last eight of the competition because this means we have stayed in the World Group, while it also gives us a chance to carry on with our title defence,” Troicki told reporters.
“We are through to the quarterfinals, we know it’s going to be very tough against Sweden and we hope to have our best player Novak Djokovic back for that tie.”
Australian Open champion Djokovic missed the tie to concentrate on the Indian Wells event which begins this week.
In Zagreb, 2005 champions Croatia levelled 2-2 with Germany after Marin Cilic defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-3 7-6 but Ivo Karlovic, who in Saturday’s doubles broke Andy Roddick’s serving speed record with a 251 kms rocket, was beaten by Petzschner 6-4 7-6 7-6.
“I got so much support from my teammates,” Petzschner told reporters. “It is just unbelievable that it ends like this. Absolutely crazy.”
France will be Germany’s quarterfinal opposition after Guy Forget’s injury-weakened side beat Austria inside an airport hangar at Vienna airport. Jeremy Chardy won the fifth rubber against Martin Fischer 2-6 7-6 6-3 6-3 when victory appeared to slipping from their grasp.
Kazakh Andrey Golubev beat Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-5 5-7 6-4 6-2 to drag his side level before Mikhail Kukushkin held his nerve to beat Jan Hajek 6-4 6-7 7-6 6-0 and send his jubilant side through to a clash with Argentina.
VENEZUELA EDGES OUT HAITI
Roman Recaute defeated Jean Marc Bazanne 6-3, 6-1 6-2 in the reverse singles Sunday to give Venezuela a 3-2 Davis Cup victory over Haiti.
The win allows Venezuela to advance to the second round in Group II of the Americas Zone, while Venezuela meet Paraguay in the playoffs.
Earlier on Sunday, Haiti’s Oliver Sajous edged out Venezuela’s Piero Luisi 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4.
Sajous beat Luis David Martinez 7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 and Luisi defeated Bazanne 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in Friday’s singles. Luisi and Roberto Maytin handily defeated Haiti’s Sajous and Joel Allen 6-7, 3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-2 in Saturday’s doubles.
Haiti has never beat Venezuela in the Davis Cup.
FRANCE BEATS AUSTRIA
Jeremy Chardy rallied to beat Martin Fischer 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3 in the decisive match Sunday to give France a 3-2 win over Austria to reach the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup.
The 2010 finalist and nine-time champion will play Germany, which defeated Croatia 3-2.
“I was very nervous,” said Chardy, referring to a string of unforced errors in the first two sets. “But (captain) Guy (Forget) just told me to take my time and breathe, and I started to play better.”
Chardy prevented France from a first loss in a Davis Cup series after being 2-0 up.
France won both opening singles Friday but lost the doubles match the following day for the first time in two years.
Earlier, Jurgen Melzer defeated Gilles Simon 7-6 (7), 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 for Austria to draw level at 2-2.
The 55th-ranked Chardy had not won a set this year coming into the series, with his latest win on the ATP circuit dating back to October 2010.
He first upset Austria’s top player, Melzer, in straight sets in the opening singles, and stayed calm when he dropped a set behind against Fischer.
Chardy got his first call-up for the team as a replacement for Richard Gasquet, who pulled out with a shoulder injury a week ago.
France was also missing its highest-ranked players Gael Monfils (hand) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (groin) because of injury.
Melzer kept the hopes of the 5 000-capacity home crowd in an aircraft hangar alive by escaping defeat against Simon.
The Frenchman was 2-1 and a break in the fourth set up before he lost control of the match.
Melzer called it “my biggest win ever in the Davis Cup.”
Austria will have to play a play-off tie in September. The team has not been past the first round of the World Group since 1995.
“We’re obviously disappointed to lose,” Austria captain Gilbert Schaller said. “But we showed a strong performance und we could still annoy the French after going 2-0 down. They thought on Friday it was going to be an easy game for them.”