Former champions France, Great Britain, Australia and Serbia have been joined by Canada, Belgium, Kazakhstan and Argentina in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas to be played between July 17-19. Argentina and Brazil resumed the fifth rubber to decide the eight spot in the Elite World Group in a tie which could not be completed on Sunday as Leonardo Mayer of Argentina took 6 hours and 42 minutes to stave off Brazilian Joao Souza to draw level at 2-2. Frederico Delbonis then replaced the winless Carlos Berlocq and he sealed a place for the home team with a four set win against another left hander Thomas Belluci.
Germany 2 France 3 : With the tie already decided on Saturday the Germans salvaged some pride as Phillip Kohlschreiber defeated Gilles Simon and Jan Lennard Struff beat Nicholas Mahut who was standing in for Gael Monfils. The reverse singles were reduced to best of three sets and the home team won both in straight sets. Last years runners up France will now travel to Great Britain for the second round tie to be played the weekend after Wimbledon.
Phillip Kohlschreiber d. Gilles Simon : 7-6(5),6-4.
Jan Lennard Struff d. Nicholas Mahut : 7-6(6),6-3.
Glasgow (Scotland, Great Britain)
Great Britain 3 USA 2 : Scottsman Andy Murray saved seven break points including three set points in the first set against John Isner as he served his way out trouble to register a straight set win over the top ranked American. The hero of the first day James Ward then had to retire in the second set after winning the first set in the fifth rubber reduced to best of three against Donald Young. Like in San Diego last year the Brits won 3-2 and will now host France.
Andy Murray d. John Isner : 7-6(4),6-3,7-6(4).
James Ward (Retired) lost to Donald Young : 7-5,0-1.
Ostrava (Czech Republic)
Czech Republic 2 Australia 3 : Bernard Tomic ranked 38th in the ATP rankings needed two tie-breaks to defeat the 31st ranked Lucas Rosol; better known for his second round Wimbledon 2012 win over Rafael Nadal. The dead fifth rubber was played by replacement players from both the teams and Jan Mertl reduced the margin to 2-3 as he defeated Sam Groth in straight sets. Australia have reached the second round for the first time since 2006; where they will host Kazakhstan.
Lucas Rosol lost to Bernard Tomic : 6-7(4),3-6,6-7(5).
Jan Mertl d. Sam Groth : 6-3,6-2.
Kazakhstan 3 Italy 2 : The in form Mikhail Kukushkin ranked 58th in the world once again won in straight sets against 35th ranked Andreas Seppi which levelled the tie at 2 apiece. The Italians then replaced Simone Bolleli with his doubles partner Fabio Fognini ranked 22nd. The pair had won the doubles on Saturday but little known Aleksandr Nedovyesov who stepped in for his doubles partner Andrey Golubev overcame nerves in the fifth set before winning the 3 hour 41 minute encounter which put the home team into the quarter-final for the second straight year. Golubev squandered two service breaks after leading 4-1 in the fifth set but held his nerves to prevail 7-5 in the decider that sent the crowd delirious.
Mikhail Kukushkin d. Andreas Seppi : 7-6(8),6-0,6-4.
Aleksansr Nedovyesov d. Fabio Fognini : 7-6(5),3-6,4-6,6-3,7-5.
Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Argentina 3 Brazil 2 : Argentina’s number one player Leonardo Mayer won the longest match in the history of the Davis Cup after squandering a two set lead to the Brazilian Joao Souza before finally winning in 6 hours 42 minutes which eclipsed the previous longest match played in 1982 between American John McEnroe and Sweden’s Mats Wilander by 20 minutes. The final set lasted 150 minutes. As expected left hander Frederico Delbonis replaced Carlos Berlocq against another left hander Thomaz Belluci and took the first set 6-3 before play was suspended due to bad light. When play resumed on Monday the Argentines booked a place in the quarter-final where they will host the 2010 champions Serbia. This was the only tie out of all the first round matches that was played outdoor on Red Clay, while the other seven were played on indoor hard courts.
Leonardo Mayer d. Joao Souza : 7-6(4),7-6(5),5-7,5-7,15-13.
Frederico Delbonis d. Thomaz Belluci : 6-3,3-6,6-2,7-5.
Serbia 5 Croatia 0 : World number one Novak Djokovic who partenered Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles on Saturday made way for Fillip Krajinovic; the man who was instrumental in Serbia’s playoff win against hosts India in September 2014. He won against Franko Skugor standing in for Borna Coric before Victor Troicki ensured a whitewash with a straight set win over Mate Delic. Serbia travel to Argentina in July.
Fillip Krajinovic d. Frank Skugor : 6-4,6-2.
Victor Troicki d, Mate Delic 6-4,6-3.
Canada 3 Japan 2 : Vasek Pospisil who played on all three days of the tie was the toast of Canada as he defeated Go Soeda in straight sets after world no. 6 Milos Raonic lost a five set encounter against fourth ranked Kei Nishikori which put the visitors even at 2-2. The match was the only top ten match up in the entire first round of Davis Cup action lasted 3 hours and 4 minutes. Canada now travel to Belgium for a berth in the semi-finals.
Milos Raonic lost to Kei Nishikori : 6-3,3-6,4-6,6-2,4-6.
Vasek Pospisil d. Go Soeda : 7-5,6-3,6-4.
Belgium 3 Switzerland 2 : The 2014 champions Switzerland will now have to win a playoff match in September this year to ensure their presence in the Elite 16 nation World Group for 2016 as the visting team who were without Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka could not win both the reverse singles on Sunday. Henri Laaksonen came from behind to beat Steve Darcis in five sets which prompted Belgium to bring in the 21st ranked David Goffin as a replacement for Ruben Bemelmans and he was ruthless in his straight set win over newcomer Adrien Bossel ensuring Belgium’s passage into the second round for the first time since 2007. They will host Canada.
Steve Darcis lost to Henri Laaksonen : 3-6,6-3,6-3,6-7(5),1-6.
David Goffin d. Adrien Bossel : 6-4,6-0,6-4.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]