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Kazakhstan and US tennis teams cruise into Davis Cup quarterfinals

Kazakhstan beat Switzerland, while the United States beat Serbia -- both by a 3-0 margin -- to enter the quarterfinals of the Davis Cup.

tennis Updated: Feb 04, 2018 23:10 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Davis Cup,Davis Cup quarterfinals,Davis Cup world group
United States Davis Cup team poses for a group picture after winning the World Group first round tie against Serbia at the Cair sports hall in Nis on Saturday.(AFP)

Switzerland and Serbia, missing the accumulated Grand Slam power of Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic, slumped to defeat in the Davis Cup first round on Saturday, allowing Kazakhstan and the United States to reach the quarter-finals.

The Swiss have now fallen in the first round every year since their maiden title triumph in 2014, which was inspired by 20-time major winner Federer and three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka.

But with recently-crowned Australian Open champion Federer and injury-hit Wawrinka not making the trip to Astana, the Kazakhs made the most of their opportunity.

Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov sealed the key point by seeing off Marc-Andrea Huesler and Luca Margaroli 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3 in the doubles for a 3-0 lead.

Serbia, the 2010 champions but without Djokovic, were also defeated as Ryan Harrison and Steve Johnson downed Nikola Milojevic and Miljan Zekic 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 for a 3-0 advantage on the clay courts in Nis.

Djokovic, the 12-time major winner and former world number one, was absent after undergoing surgery to cure a long-standing right elbow injury.

The United States, who have been champions 32 times, were 2-0 up overnight after singles wins for Sam Querrey and John Isner.

Harrison, with a world ranking of 19 in doubles, teamed with Johnson against the rookie pair of unranked Zekic and the world 307 Milojevic and set up a quarter-final against Belgium or Hungary.

Belgium, the runners-up in 2017, are 2-1 ahead of Hungary in Liege.

The win was sweet revenge for the United States who had lost to Serbia in the 2010 and 2013 competition.

“We feel good about our team and our depth. We’re excited,” said Harrison.

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 23:10 IST