(February 1, 2013) -- Even without 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, the Swiss Davis Cup team are proving to be worthy opponents for the Czech Republic.
Stan Wawrinka put the Swiss team ahead on their home soil with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Lukas Rosol. “It was not easy to play against Rosol,” Wawrinka said afterwards. “He’s serving really well. For sure, I was nervous a little bit at the beginning, but in the end to win in three sets it’s really important for me.”
Tomas Berdych ensured that the Czech’s closed the day on even terms with the Swiss when he defeated Henri Laaksonen in four sets, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-1. Berdych looked to be breezing to victory, but ended up needing to log a little extra time on court after he dropped a third-set tiebreaker to the World No. 279.
Elsewhere in World Group action:
Serbia leads Belgium, 2-0
Novak Djokovic, who complained vehemently about poor clay court conditions on Thursday, was pleased to see that the courts had improved significantly prior to the start of play on Friday. "The court was unplayable yesterday, and then today there was a significant difference and improvement," said a thankful Djokovic, who defeated Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 to give the Serbs a 2-0 lead. "On behalf of all the players I definitely want to thank all the people who put in the hard work and made the court playable today."
In the day's first rubber, Viktor Troicki overcame a two-set deficit to defeat David Goffin in five, 1-6, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4. "Of course it's a disappointment for me," said Goffin, "but I will try to forget this match."
Argentina leads Germany 2-0
They may be the Buffalo Bills of Davis Cup, having gone 0-4 in finals, but the Argentinean squad is sitting pretty with a 2-0 lead on the Germans after a long day spent in grueling 35-degree heat in Buenos Aires.
Carlos Berlocq notched his first career Davis Cup win when Philipp Kohlschreiber retired at 4-5 in the fifth set, then the 29-year-old Argentine ripped his shirt off a la Novak Djokovic in what was considered by many to be a clear-cut case of hyper celebration after the fact. In the second rubber, Juan Monaco overcame a one-set deficit to win in four over Florian Mayer, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
France leads Israel 2-0
Arnaud Clement's Davis Cup captaincy began with a strong start as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet led France to a 2-0 lead over Israel.
Kazakhstan leads Austria 2-0
World No. 187 Andrey Golubev and World No. 211 Evgeny Korolev pulled the shocker of the day against Austria, as neither dropped a set to stake the Kazakhs to a commanding 2-0 in Astana.
In the bigger upset, Evgeny Korolev thumped 53 winners and converted on 6 of 8 break points to take out Jurgen Melzer.
Italy and Croatia are tied 1-1
Paolo Lorenzi pushed Marin Cilic to five sets and Andreas Seppi defeated Ivan Dodig to set up what promises to be an exciting weekend in Turin, Italy. The Italians have not won a World Group tie since 1998, while Croatia is attempting to remain undefeated against the Italians in their third head-to-head tie.
Cilic needed three hours and forty-three minutes to get by an inspired Lorenzi, who was filling in for Fabio Fognini. Lorenzi took the third set to move ahead, but the World No. 13 rallied to take the final two sets to put Croatia in the lead.
Seppi responded by overcoming Ivan Dodig in a tight four-setter. The Italian took the lead when he broke Dodig to claim the third set. After losing four straight Davis Cup singles rubbers, Seppi has now won his last three and has a career record of 12-10 in Davis Cup singles.
USA leads Brazil 2-0
Sam Querrey won 45 of 47 first-serve points and John Isner cracked 32 aces to put the Americans up 2-0 on Brazil in Jacksonville. Read Erik Gudris's full report here.