For the second straight year, Great Britain has handed the U.S. a tough first-round loss in the Davis Cup. Andy Murray clinched the victory on Sunday with a 7-6 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over John Isner to move the Brits into the World group quarterfinals. Britain will keep home-court advantage when its plays last year's runner-up France in July, after the Frenchmen swept Germany 3-0.
It was déjà vu for the Americans, who lost 3-1 to Britain last year in San Diego. The story once again was Britain's No. 2 James Ward. Last year, he came through to stun Sam Querrey and put Britain up 2-0 after Day 1, which gave Murray the chance to close out the tie on Sunday. On Friday, No. 111-ranked Ward rallied from two sets down to knock off Isner 6-7, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6, 15-13. Bob and Mike Bryan got the Americans on the board on Saturda, beating Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-7, 9-7, but Murray sealed the win on Sunday with his straight-set win. Britain went on to win 3-2 after Donald Young won the dead rubber via Ward's retirement.
Upsets reigned in Europe over the weekend. Aside from France and Serbia rolling to wins (Serbia swept Croatia), Australia rallied behind Bernard Tomic to knock off a depleted Czech Republic 3-2. Tomic went 6-0 in sets in defeating Jiri Vesely and Lukas Rosol. Thanasi Kokkinakis, 18, started things off with a 4-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 comeback win over Rosol on Day 1. Australia will play surprise quarterfinalists Kazakhstan, who beat Italy 3-2. The tie came down to a decisive fifth rubber. No. 130 Aleksandr Nedovyesov sealed the win with a victory over No. 22 Fabio Fognini, 7-6, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.
[daily_cut.Tennis] Over in Liege, Belgium was forced to call on an injured David Goffin in its decisive fifth rubber to knock off defending champion Switzerland. Goffin came off the bench to beat Adrien Bossel 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 and move the Belgians through. It will play Serbia in the quarterfinals.
One tie remains in the balance. The fifth rubber between Argentine and Brazil was suspended for darkness after Federico Delbonis took the first set 6-3 over Thomaz Bellucci. Japan's Kei Nishikori outlasted Milos Raonic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 2-6- 6-4 in Vancouver to force a fifth rubber against Canada.