GREAT BRITAIN d. JAPAN 3-1
Andy Murray carries the water, winning his first singles over Tao Daniel, winning the doubles with brother Jamie, and on Sunday grinding out a five-set win over Kei Nishikori 7-5, 7-6(6), 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 to clinch it in the first Sunday singles for Britain.
“The crowd helped for sure,” Murray told BBC Sport. “Physically I struggled a little at the end of the third set and a little in fourth.” Brit captain Leon Smith said, “I am lost for words at this stage — he is a man of steel isn’t he? What Andy managed to do was astonishing since he hasn’t played since the Australian Open final.” Britain will next travel to Serbia to face world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
SERBIA d. KAZAKHSTAN 3-2
This tie took a shocking turn on Saturday when Kazakhs Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and former doubles No. 1 Nenad Zimonjic 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-5, putting Kazakhstan up 2-1. But on Sunday Djokovic worked past Mikhail Kukushkin 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Viktor Troicki defeated Nedovyesov 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 to safely put Serbia into the quarterfinals.
“You made the difference and gave me the energy to come out on top and I have to thank you for that,” Djokovic told the Belgrade fans after coming back from 1-2 sets down. “I know you’ve lost your voices after five hours of cheering, you must be tired, but please stay because Viktor is playing now and needs your support to win.” And win he did. The Serbs will next host the defending champ Brits and Andy Murray.
ARGENTINA d. POLAND 3-2
The Argentines clinched it in the first Sunday singles when Leo Mayer beat No. 318-ranked Pole Michal Przysiezny 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3. Mayer on the first day straight-setted No. 602-ranked Pole Hubert Hurkacz, and Argentine Guido Pella beat Przysiezny in straights. Argentina will next travel to Italy.
ITALY d. SWITZERLAND 5-0
No Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka made this a no-go for the Swiss. Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi weathered a five-set 7-6(14), 6-3, 4-6, 5-7, 7-5 win over Marco Chiudinelli on Day 1 to start the landslide victory. Andreas Seppi won in singles, and clinched the tie in the doubles with Simone Bolleli.
The Italians will next host Argentina. “Winning [the Davis Cup], it is possible,” said Italian captain Corrado Barazzutti. “I mean, who would have thought Britain would win last year — and we beat them only the year before in Naples.”
FRANCE d. CANADA 5-0
Without No. 1 Milos Raonic, Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic nor Phil Bester could get on the board against the stacked French team, which boasted Top 10ers Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, in addition to Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon.
All four French players played one singles match each, and in the doubles Gasquet/Tsonga beat Bester/Pospisil 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(4) to clinch. France will in the next round travel to the Czech Republic.
CZECH REPUBLIC d. GERMANY 3-2
German Philipp Kohlschreiber single-handedly made a tie of this one, winning his opening singles against Lukas Rosol in five 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, then on Sunday stretching it to a fifth and deciding match by beating Tomas Berdych when the Czech retired after two sets citing a hamstring injury.
In the decider Rosol overwhelmed teen Alexander Zverev who was appearing in his first tie for Germany 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. “This is a special feeling for me,” Rosol said. “I think I was a little bit more experienced than Sascha today, but he will have more experience soon too…We have a great team always. And if someone isn’t ready like Tomas today we try to do our best — this is important to have really good teammates.” The Czechs will next host France.
USA d. AUSTRALIA 3-1
The combination of Nick Kyrgios missing the tie with illness and some stunning tennis from John Isner saw the Americans advance. On Day 1 Isner beat Aussie substitute Sam Groth, but Bernard Tomic made it 1-1 with a defeat of American Jack Sock. Without Kyrgios in doubles, Aussie captain Lleyton Hewitt was almost the hero of the tie, inserting himself with John Peers, but losing to the Bryan brothers in five sets.
Isner ended it in the first match on Sunday, beating a wrist-hampered Tomic 6-4, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(4), dropping 49 aces. Tomic during the match was caught by the on-court microphones complaining to Hewitt that Krygios had faked his injury to miss the tie. The Americans will next host Croatia.
CROATIA d. BELGIUM 3-2
A heroic effort by David Goffin kept the waffles in it, in the opener beating teen riser Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 3-6, 6-3 and on Sunday ousting former US Open winner Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. But the fifth and deciding match was put on the shoulders of No. 122-ranked Kimmer Coppejans, who was no match for Coric, who rolled 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-2 to beat the 2015 finalists and advance to the next round at the United States.
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