Croatia leads U.S. 2-1
The Bryan brothers kept the U.S. alive on Saturday, straight-setting the throw-away team of Roko Karanusic and Lovro Zovko, with the Croats resting their singles stars. Now the Croats need only one win on Sunday from either James Blake vs. Marin Cilic or Mardy Fish vs. Ivo Karlovic.
Czech Republic leads Argentina 2-1
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek defeated Jose Acasuso and Leonardo Mayer 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 to put Czechs one win away from the semifinals. Sunday’s reverse singles are set for Berdych against Juan Martin del Potro, and Ivo Minar against Juan Monaco, with del Potro the best bet in the first match for Argentina to stretch it to a fifth and deciding.
“I’m looking forward to the match,” Berdych said. “He’s the favorite, but we play at home and I’ll try to play my best game to complicate things for him.” If it does go to a fifth, look for a possible singles appearance by the knee-injured Stepanek for the Czechs.
Israel d. Russia 3-0
Israel clinched the tie in the Saturday doubles when Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram stopped a comeback from former No. 1 Marat Safin and Igor Kunitsyn 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4. Harel Levy and Dudi Sela won singles matches on Friday to put Israel up 2-0. Israel will take on the winner between Spain and Germany in the September semifinals.
Spain leads Germany 2-1
Spain took the advantage in the tie on Saturday in Marbella when mirror-gazing Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco defeated Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer and Mischa Zverev 6-3, 7-6(1), 6-7(6), 6-3.
The tie was even after opening play on Friday when Verdasco put down a challenge from German Andreas Beck 6-0, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1, but then Tommy Robredo was upset by German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
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