Tue, Jul 19, 2016 - Page 16 News List

Britain’s Edmund books a semi against Argentina

AFP, PARIS

Britain’s Kyle Edmund celebrates winning his singles rubber against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final in Belgrade on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Kyle Edmund won his second singles rubber of the weekend to steer Davis Cup champions Britain past Serbia on Sunday and into a mouthwatering semi-final clash against Argentina.

Edmund, ranked 67 in the world, justified his position as his nation’s top player in the absence of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to see off Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) on the back of 39 winners for an unbeatable 3-1 lead.

“You want to win for your country when you know what is at stake — I’m so pleased that I’ve won,” Edmund said.

Britain go on to host Argentina in September after the South Americans reached the semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Italy in Pesaro.

Argentina have won the past three Davis Cup meetings between the two nations in 1981, 1989 and 2008, while Britain’s only win was in 1928 in the sleepy seaside town of Torquay.

Argentina, who have never won the Davis Cup, saw Federico Delbonis defeat recently married Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 on Sunday.

Argentina have now made the semi-finals 11 times in the past 15 years.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sent France into the last four after beating Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic to hand his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in Trinec.

World No. 10 Tsonga beat world No. 50 Vesely 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 7-5 in 3 hours, 28 minutes as France won on Czech soil for the first time in 90 years.

“With the experience I have, I knew that even despite a poor start it’s not over, it goes on, the rubber is long, but I really had to work hard to win today,” Tsonga told reporters.

In their quest for a first Davis Cup title since 2001, France face Croatia in the other semi-final after the vicitors rallied from an 0-2 deficit to oust the US 3-2.

Borna Coric defeated Jack Sock 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday in the fifth and final rubber to book the semi-final berth for Croatia in Portland, Oregon.

“It’s not easy to play in a fifth match, obviously,” 19-year-old Coric said. “I have to be honest, I like that kind of situation ... I just like big stage more.”

Former US Open champion Marin Cilic kept Croatia alive with a 7-6 (11/9), 6-3, 6-4 victory over John Isner.

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