Tue, Feb 04, 2014 - Page 8 News List

Czechs keep three-peat hopes alive, Britain defeat US

AFP, PARIS

The Czech Republic kept their Davis Cup three-peat bid on track as the first-round ties concluded on Sunday.

Britain notched their first World Group win since 1986 as Andy Murray beat Sam Querrey in San Diego to give them a 3-1 victory over the US.

Britain next face Italy, who downed Argentina in Mar del Plata thanks to Fabio Fognini’s third victory in as many days.

In Ostrava, the Czech Republic held the upper hand 2-1 going into the reverse singles against the Netherlands and Tomas Berdych bagged the all-important third point with a three-set win over lowly ranked Thiemo de Bakker.

The Dutch claimed the final dead rubber when Igor Sijsling saw off Lukas Rosol giving the Czech Republic a 3-2 victory and a date with Japan, who beat Canada in Tokyo.

However, the Czech Republic may have to travel to Tokyo without their star player, world No. 7 Berdych.

“I’ve won the salad bowl twice, I’ve given the team a lot over the past 10, 11 years. I’d say a rest would be fully deserved,” Berdych had said earlier.

In California, where the US hosted Britain on a clay court set up at Major League Baseball ground Petco Park, world No. 6 Murray gained the crucial point with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-3 win over Querrey — the top US player in action after the late injury withdrawal of John Isner.

Querrey had been stunned on Friday by Britain’s James Ward, who won 10 of the last 11 games in a remarkable five-set fightback that helped the visitors take a 2-0 lead on the opening day on which Murray also crushed Davis Cup newcomer Donald Young.

After the crack doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan pulled back a point for the US on Saturday, Murray relished his chance to put the tie away.

“You want to try and contribute as much as possible in these weeks,” Murray said. “James had a great win against Sam the first day to put us in that position and it was up to me today to try and close it out.”

The final score stood at 3-1 after the fifth scheduled match was canceled.

In Mar del Plata, Fognini beat Carlos Berlocq 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 to give Italy a 3-1 advantage that stood up after the dead rubber was scrapped.

Fognini had beaten Juan Monaco on Friday, then teamed up with Simone Bolelli for a doubles win over Horacio Zeballos and Eduardo Schwank on Saturday as Italy overcame the hostile crowd.

Switzerland next host Kazakhstan, who saw off Belgium 3-2 in Almaty, in the quarter-finals, while Germany take on France.

This story has been viewed 1991 times.
TOP top