For the second time in three weeks Stan Wawrinka suffered heartbreak on the tennis court. Just two weeks after losing a 5-hour 12-10 in the fifth match at the Australian Open to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka and his Swiss teammate Marco Chiudinelli were turned away in an historic 64 57 64 67(3) 24-22 loss to the Czech tandem Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol in the third rubber of their first round Davis Cup tie held in Geneva.
The 7-hour, 1-minute match goes down in the history books as the longest doubles match recorded, and the second longest match of any kind behind the 11-hour, 5-minute John Isner-Nicolas Mahut 2010 Wimbledon match. The epic ended with Chiudinelli double faulting on the Czech’s 13th matchpoint.
“Great doubles from MC!! Thanks for all the supporters!!!!” Warinka tweeted. “Ice bath done! Now massage and food… Lets be ready for tomorrow!!!!”
The defending champion Czechs now hold a 2-1 lead in the tie with Berdych and Wawrinka scheduled first in singles, assuming they are able to play.
“I have never played tennis that long. I like it because I now have a new experience but we still need one more point, so let’s go again Sunday,” said Berdych.
Elsewhere, Serbia (d. Belgium), France (d. Israel) and Argentina (d. Germany) already wrapped up first round wins. Argentina was helped today by former Top 10 David Nalbandian who returned to action for the first time since August.
“It’s really tough when you are such a long time [away from] the courts, but I think we both played a good match today,” Nalbandian said of his 4-set clinching doubles win with Horacio Zeballos. “We had a low in the third set but we started good in the fourth to take the match. Physically I felt good, I practiced a lot and I hope to do good on tour to be ready for the next tie.”
2012 runner-ups Spain remained alive in their tie at Canada. After dropping both singles on Friday, Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez kept Spain in the hunt with a 5-set win over Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil. Milos Raonic will try again to secure the win against Granollers tomorrow in the fourth rubber.
In Jacksonville, Brazil stunned the Bryans and team USA with a 5-set win. The duo of Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares hung on for a rousing 76(6) 67(7) 64 36 63 over world No. 1s the Bryans.
“There’s no doubt that on paper that they’re a better team than us,” Soares said. “We have a good record against them. We came here today to fight, we know we play well together and we never give up. Today is just a perfect example of how good me and Marcelo can play together.
“To beat those guys you have to be 110 percent and we were 110 percent for five sets and didn’t drop for one second even in strange situations. We kept focused and without any distractions.”
On Sunday with a 2-1 lead the U.S. can clinch if John Isner can beat the struggling Thomaz Bellucci.
Also, Italy leads Croatia on their home red clay 2-1. And Kazakhstan is up 2-1 on the visiting Austrians.
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