Roger Federer suffered defeat for the second day in succession as the US completed a surprisingly comfortable victory over Switzerland in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Fribourg, Switzerland, on Saturday.
Former world No. 1 Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka needed to win the doubles to keep the tie alive after Friday’s two singles went to the US, but after a good start, the Swiss pair lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to Mardy Fish and Mike Bryan.
It was payback time for Fish, who suffered two heartbreaking defeats in marathon matches in last year’s quarter-finals against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer.
Holders Spain joined the Americans in the quarter-finals as they moved 3-0 ahead against Kazakhstan in Oviedo to give new captain Alex Corretja a pleasing start in the absence of Ferrer and Rafa Nadal.
Last year’s runners-up Argentina and the Czech Republic also moved smoothly through with a day to spare against Germany and Italy respectively.
Japan have an uphill battle in their first World Group tie for 26 years, 2-1 down at home to Croatia.
Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny kept Russia alive in their tie in Austria with victory in Saturday’s doubles meaning the visitors now trail 2-1.
Federer has never won the Davis Cup and will have to wait at least another year to fill in one of the few blanks on his CV after a humbling couple of days in front of his home fans.
Having lost to big-serving world No. 17 John Isner on Friday, Olympic doubles champions Federer and Wawrinka were well beaten by Fish and Bryan as the Americans, winners of the team competition a record 32 times, swept to victory.
The US next play Canada or France, who are level 1-1 in their tie.
Spain captain Corretja was unable to call on any of the four players who beat Argentina in last year’s final against the Kazakhs, but his country’s unrivaled strength in depth was again in evidence.
Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez needed less than two hours to beat Evgeny Korolev and Yuriy Schukin 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 on Saturday after singles wins for Nicolas Almagro and Juan Carlos Ferrero on Friday had effectively put the tie beyond the Kazakhs.
France’s Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra have defeated Milos Raonic and Daniel Nestor of Canada to take a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup series after their doubles match on Saturday.
The French pair cruised to a straight sets victory — 7-6 (1), 7-6 (2), 6-3 — in just over two-and-a-half hours at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre to leave the tie firmly in the hands of the visitors.
The reverse singles matches yesterday were to see Raonic against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, before Vasek Pospisil faces Benneteau.