Former champions France, Great Britain, Australia and Serbia have taken a commanding 2-0 lead on the opening day of the 2015 Davis Cup ( by BNP Paribas ) ; while last years champion Switzerland, 1976 champion Italy, Japan and Argentina have split the singles against their opponents Belgium, Kazakhstan, Canada and Brazil respectively.
Here are the results and predictions for the doubles on day 2 of the eight ties.
France 2 Germany 0 : World number 14 Giles Simon finally won an important Davis Cup rubber but was made to fight all the way by the 74th ranked Jan-Lennard Struff in a match lasting 4 hours and 24 minutes. Simon won the fifth set lasting 69 minutes 10-8 and then world no 19 Gael Monfils dashed any hopes of a German revival as he beat the 28th ranked Phillip Kohlschreiber in straight sets. The established duo of Nicolas Mahut and veteran Julien Benneteau should prevail over Benjamin Becker and Andre Begeman; the latter maybe replaced by Kohlschreiber in an attempt to keep German hopes alive.
Giles Simon d. Jan Lennard Struff : 7-6(4),2-6,6-7(1),6-2,10-8.
Gael Monfils d. Phillip Kohlschreiber : 6-4,7-5,7-6(4).
Glasgow (Scotland, Great Britain)
Great Britain 2 USA 0 : World number 5 Andy Murray, a native of Dunblane, Scotland ran away with the first two sets before the 47th ranked Donald Young could settle down and salvage the third set, but the reigning Olympic champion who won the Gold medal in London Olympics 2012 finished the tie in four sets. However the match of the day was between the 20th ranked American John Isner and little knowm Brit James Ward ranked a lowly 111. Ward finally won the 4 hour 56 minutes marathon on his sixth match point taking the 111 minute long fifth set 15-13. The Bryan brothers Mike and Bob would be highly favoured to win the doubles against Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray.
Andy Murray d. Donald Young : 6-1,6-1,4-6,6-2.
James Ward d. John Isner : 6-7, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3), 15-13.
Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Australia 2 Czech Republic 0 : Little known Thanasi Kokkinakis ranked 133 in the world who along with Nick Kyrgios is regarded as part of “Special K” in Australia rallied from two sets down to beat 31st ranked Lucas Rosol in five sets in a match lasting 3 hours 32 minutes before 38th ranked Aussie Bernard Tomic easily defeated Jiri Vesley in straight sets. The 45th ranked Vesley won his maiden ATP title in Auckland in January 2015. Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt will partner Sam Groth against the little known pairing of Jan Mertl and Adam Pavlasek and Australia should progress into the second round for the first time since 2006.
Thanasi Kokkinakis d. Lucas Rosol : 4-6,2-6,7-5,7-5,6-3.
Bernard Tomic d. Jiri Vesley : 6-4,6-3,7-6(5).
Kazakhstan 1 Italy 1 : The in form Mikhail Kukushkin ranked 58th in the world routed 49th ranked Simone Bolleli in straight sets as the Italians paid a heavy price for choosing to rest 22nd ranked Italian number 1 Fabio Fognini who recently beat Rafael Nadal in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Andreas Seppi; ranked 35th and the conqueror of Roger Federer at the Australian Open leveled the tie for the 1976 champions as he beat the 91st ranked Andrey Golubev in four sets. Fognini who paired with Bolleli to won the doubles title at this years Australian Open will partner Paolo Lorenzi against Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov and the Italians should enter the reverse singles on Sunday with a 2-1 lead in the tie.
Mikhail Kukushkin d. Simone Bolleli : 7-6(6), 6-1,6-2.
Andrey Golubev lost to Andreas Seppi : 3-6,3-6,7-6(5),2-6.
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Argentina 1 Brazil 1 : 75th ranked Joao Souza put the Brazilians up with a hard fought five set win against the 67th ranked Argentine Carlos Berlicq in the longest match of the day in 4 hours 57 minutes. In the only first round tie played on clay ( the other seven are on indoor hard courts) the no. 1 Argentine Leonardo Mayer who won the Hamburg ATP 500 in 2014 evened the tie at one apiece as he outlasted 87th ranked left hander Thomaz Bellucci in 4 sets. The established Brazilian pairing of Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo should put the visitors 2-1 up as they are slated to play Frederico Delbonis and Diego Schwartzman.
Carlos Berlocq lost to Joao Souza : 4-6,6-3,7-5,3-6,2-6.
Leonardo Mayer d. Thomaz Bellucci : 6-4,6-3,1-6,6-3.
Serbia 2 Croatia 0 : World number 1 Novak Djokovic was barely made to sweat by the 158th ranked Croat Mate Delic as he won in straight sets before the 41st ranked Victor Troicki put the home team 2-0 up as he rallied from two sets down against the 18 year old teenager Borna Coric ranked 61st; to win in five sets. Troicki, who served a 12 month suspension last year will pair up with veteran Nenad Zimonjic and the 2010 champions should go through against the inexperienced pairing of Marin Draganja and Franko Skugor.
Novak Djokovic d. Mate Delic : 6-3, 6-2,6-4.
Victor Troicki d. Borna Coric : 4-6,1-6,6-3,6-2,6-1.
Canada 1 Japan 1 : World no 6 Milos Raonic served 17 aces enroute to his straight sets drubbing of 85th ranked Tatsumo Ito before the fourth ranked Kei Nishikori put the visitors even at 1 apiece as he was barely troubled in his straight set win over 62nd ranked Vasek Pospisil. Veteran left hander Daniel Nestor is slated to partner Pospisil and they should put Canada up 2-1 as they play Go Soeda and Yasutaka Uchiyama.
Milos Raonic d. Tatsumo Ito : 6-2,6-1,6-2.
Vasek Pospisil lost to Kei Nishikori : 4-6, 6-7(5), 3-6.
Belgium 1 Switzerland 1 : The 2014 champions Switzerland took the lead as 344th ranked Henri Laaksonen came back from two sets down to defeat the 132nd ranked Ruben Bemelmans before the 102nd ranked Belgian Steve Darcis routed the 576th ranked Michael Lammer in straight sets to level the tie at 1-1. Lammer will partner Adrien Bossel against the home team pairing of Ruben Bemelmans and Neils Desein and the experienced Lammer who partnered Roger Federer in Dubai last week should give the defending champions a 2-1 lead heading into Sunday’s reverse singles.
Ruben Bemelmans lost to Henri Laaksonen : 6-1,7-6(6), 4-6,0-6,2-6.
Steve Darcis d. Micheal Lammer : 6-3,6-1,6-3.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]