Czechs, Italy in Davis Cup quarter-finals, Spain out

AP, LONDON

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 - Page 19

Tomas Berdych had enough energy left after a record-setting doubles match to put defending champions Czech Republic into the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup on Sunday, while Italy beat Croatia in the decisive singles match to also advance from the first round.

However, Spain will not have a chance to win a sixth title after their short-handed team lost to Canada, which reached the quarter-finals for the first time.

Berdych returned to the court after he and Lukas Rosol won an epic seven-hour match on Saturday — the longest in the history of the Davis Cup — and needed just more than three hours this time to beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) and give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-1 lead.

The win for the Czechs set up a quarter-final against Kazakhstan, which ousted Austria after Andrey Golubev beat Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the first reverse singles for a 3-1 lead.

Italy advanced after Fabio Fognini won the fifth and decisive match in front of the home crowd, beating beat Ivan Dodig 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to give Italy a 3-2 win over Croatia and send his country to the quarter-finals for the first time in 15 years.

“It was a crazy victory, but everyone always says I’m crazy,” Fognini said.

Italy will play Canada, after 15th-ranked Milos Raonic defeated No. 82 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the opening reverse singles match to give his country a 3-1 lead.

Five-time champions Spain were missing Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro because of injuries and fatigue, and Canada had taken a 2-0 lead in Friday’s singles before losing the doubles.

The US progressed with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Brazil.

Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci fought back to beat John Isner 2-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3 and force the tie into a decisive fifth rubber before Sam Querrey clinched it for the hosts with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (3).

The US will host Serbia in the next round after the Serbs beat Belgium 3-2. Argentina completed a 5-0 rout of Germany and France swept Israel by the same score.