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Rediff.com  » Sports » Davis Cup round-up: India take 2-1 lead vs Korea; Czechs ease to victory over Japan

Davis Cup round-up: India take 2-1 lead vs Korea; Czechs ease to victory over Japan

Last updated on: April 05, 2014 16:30 IST

Davis Cup round-up: India take 2-1 lead vs Korea

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India are one win away from securing a berth in the World Group play-offs after Rohan Bopanna and Saketh Myneni defeated Hyung-Taik Lee and Lim Yong-Kyu in the crucial doubles match of their second round Asia/Oceania Group I tie against Korea, in Busan, on Saturday.

Bopanna and Myneni prevailed 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-3 to give India a 2-1 lead after day one had ended 1-1.

"Great effort and win by @rohanbopanna and saketh to get the doubles point and give us a 2-1 lead. way to go boys. #DavisCup #TeamIndia," Sanam Singh tweeted after the match.

Pairing up for only the second time in their career, Bopanna and Myneni staved off the challenge posed by Hyung-Taik and Lim in a see-saw battle which became lop-sided by the fourth set.

India are now on the verge of beating Korea for the first time in an away tie. They also have a chance to improve on the overall head-to-head record which stands at 3-6.

The last time the two teams played was in 2013 when the Koreans beat India 4-1 in New Delhi in the absence of top players, who boycotted the tie.

India are coming into this tie after having blanked Taipei 5-0 while the hosts received a bye in the first round as one of the top seeds and are seeking a World Group play-off berth for the first time since 2008.


Image: Rohan Bopanna of India celebrates victory
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Czechs lead Japan; Swiss fight back against Kazak's after Wawrinka loss

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The Czech Republic wasted little time wrapping up their Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Japan after the defending champions eased to a straight sets victory in the doubles rubber on Saturday to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in Tokyo.

After battling to singles wins on Friday, Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol paired up for a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama at the Ariake Coliseum to set up a last four encounter against either Germany or France.

In a match that lasted two hours and 20 minutes, the Czech pairing won all three sets with a break of serve in the 10th game against the error-prone Japanese to remain on course for a third straight Davis Cup title and fourth overall.

Rosol was brought in as a substitute for Jiri Vesely by Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil on Saturday morning and the move proved inspired with the world number 40 exhibiting a strong serve and playing especially well from the baseline.


Image: Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol in action against Daniel Taro of Japan
Photographs: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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Rosol outplays dogged Daniel

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On Friday, former world number eight Stepanek, now 47th, came from a set down to beat Ito 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-1, 7-5 before Rosol survived a mid-match meltdown to overcome 21-year-old Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 in the second rubber.

Both sides came into the contest without their top players.

World number five Tomas Berdych is out for the Czechs following two tough tournaments in the United States, while Kei Nishikori is sidelined with a groin problem suffered in a victory over Roger Federer at last week's Sony Open in Miami.

The Czechs are likely to face Germany in September's semi-final encounter after Carsten Arriens' unfancied side opened a 2-0 lead over the French on the opening day of their tie in Nancy.


Image: Daniel Taro of Japan
Photographs: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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France record embarrassing losses against Germany

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France got off to an embarassing start against Germany, who are without the injured Florian Mayer and Tommy Haas.

Arnaud Clement's team were 2-0 down at the end of the first day after Julien Benneteau and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga proved incapable of beating lower ranked opponents in Nancy.

World No 50 Benneteau took the first four games off 96th ranked Tobias Kamke, against whom he had a 3-0 record, but failed to build on his fine start and lost 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-2.

Tsonga, ranked 12th in the world after a poor start to the season, then lost 5-7, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (8), 8-6 to World No 119 Peter Gojowczyk.

France's hopes of staying in contention rest on Michael Llodra and Gael Monfils, who are set to play in the doubles against Kamke and Andre Begemann on Saturday.


Image: Peter Gojowczyk of Germany
Photographs: Renee McKay/Getty Images

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Federer rescues Switzerland after Wawrinka upset

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The fancied Swiss were given a scare when Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka was upset in four sets by Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev, ranked 64 in the world, 61 places below his opponent.

Federer rode to the rescue with a comprehensive straight sets demolition of Mikhail Kukushkin to leave the tie delicately poised ahead of Saturday's doubles.

In Geneva, Golubev got the better of a nervous-looking Wawrinka with an impressive attacking display, winning 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in three hours 14 minutes.

"I am really disappointed with myself, but I have to give credit to Golubev who was playing really good," Wawrinka said on the Davis Cup website (www.daviscup.com).

"He was really aggressive and he found a way to win the match. I was expecting more mistakes and was not aggressive enough, but I a need to accept it and be ready for tomorrow."

Federer ensured the day had a happier ending for the Swiss by easing past Kukushkin 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, ending the match in dominant fashion with a double break early in the final set.


Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in Geneva on Friday
Photographs: Denis Balibouse/Reuters

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Italians have upper hand over Britain while Murray's match suspended

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The winner of the tie will face either Italy or Britain, with the Italians ending Day One with a slender advantage after Fognini beat Ward 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Britain's double Grand Slam champion Andy Murray was involved in a dogfight with Italy's Andreas Seppi before bad light saw their clash suspended with the Wimbledon champion leading by a set.

Murray was leading the second rubber 6-4, 5-5 when fading light brought an end to play but not before the Briton was forced to save several set points in the nerve-jangling final game of the day.


Image: Britain's Andy Murray reacts during his Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match against Italy's Andreas Seppi in Naples on Friday
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

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