Davis Cup: Canada falls behind Japan
Daniel Nestor, Frank Dancevic lose in doubles Saturday
Canada is down 2-1 to Japan in its best-of-five World Group Davis Cup series following a doubles match loss on Saturday.
Toronto's Daniel Nestor and Frank Dancevic of Niagara Falls, Ont., fell to Japan's Kei Nishikori and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-3, 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4.
Both teams made player substitutions prior to the match as Dancevic went in for Vancouver's Vasek Pospisil, who is still recovering from a back injury. Nishikori subbed in for Yuichi Sugita on the Japanese side.
The match marked the first time Dancevic and Nestor had played together in three years.
"I thought those guys came out really strong and we really didn't take advantage of our chances," said Canadian captain Martin Laurendeau. "The guys fought really hard and it was really a matter of a few points."
The Canadian pair got out to an early lead in the second set but Japan broke back to force the tiebreak, and capitalized to take a two-set advantage before Nestor and Dancevic captured the third set.
For Nestor, the loss was only his eighth in Davis Cup doubles play in his entire 22-year career representing Canada. It was also the first loss for Dancevic and Nestor as a pair, who entered the contest undefeated together with a 3-0 record.
Canada is currently ranked No. 7 on the Davis Cup Nations ranking while Japan sits at No. 12. Japan owns a 5-0 record against Canada in Davis Cup action, but the two countries had not played each other since 1938 prior to this tournament.
Dancevic will play World No. 18 Nishikori in a must-win singles match on Sunday. If a fifth and final match is needed, Peter Polansky of Thornhill, Ont., will face Go Soeda, also on Sunday.
The winner will advance to the quarterfinals to face either the Czech Republic or the Netherlands.
The nations split their opening pair of first-round singles matches on Friday, with Nishikori defeating Polansky in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, before Canada pulled even on the strength of Dancevic's 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-1 victory over Soeda.
U.S. stays alive against Britain
The "Bryan Bump" returned to the Davis Cup.
As soon as Bob Bryan's overhand smash on match point zipped past Britain's Dominic Inglot and Colin Fleming, the celebration was on. Bob and identical twin Mike leaped into the air to do the famed chest bump they use to celebrate their victories.
The Bryans' 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory Saturday pulled the United States to 2-1 against Britain in the first round of the Davis Cup and ended the brothers' Davis Cup losing streak at two.
"We've been waiting a long time to get another opportunity to get that bad taste out of our mouth," Bob Bryan said. "It always feels bad to let the team down. We were kind of coming out of our shoes, really itching to get on the court."
The twins had a mini-chest bump after breaking Inglot's serve to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth set.
The match will be decided Sunday in reverse singles, when Wimbledon winner Andy Murray of Britain faces Sam Querrey. If Querrey can somehow pull an upset, it will then come down to James Ward of Britain against Donald Young. Murray won the opening singles match in straight sets against Young on Friday while Ward rallied to beat Querrey in five sets.
France on to Davis Cup quarters
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet beat Lleyton Hewitt and Chris Guccione 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 7-5 to give France an unassailable 3-0 lead over Australia and a spot in the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
Hewitt and Guccione were previously undefeated in the Davis Cup as a doubles team, but Tsonga and Gasquet overpowered them by hitting 21 aces to 4, and 74 winners to 38.
The Australian rallied from a 3-0 deficit and won the opening set when Hewitt hit a return winner off Gasquet's serve. However, Guccione failed to serve out the second set at 5-3 as the match turned in France's favour.
In the tiebreaker, the French team jumped to a 6-3 lead after Guccione netted a backhand volley and Tsonga slapped a forehand winner. Tsonga fired an ace to level at one set apiece.
The French pair did not face any break points in the third and fourth sets. The hosts went a set up when Gasquet whipped a forehand pass down the middle and won the match when Gasquet hit a powerful backhand that Hewitt could not return.
Germany books spot in quarter-finals
Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber secured Germany's place in the Davis Cup quarter-finals by winning their doubles match Saturday for an unassailable 3-0 lead over Spain.
The Germans held their nerve to beat Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 7-6 (7), 6-3 in 3 hours, 25 minutes, giving Spain its second straight first-round exit. Spain lost to Canada last year.
The 35-year-old Haas served out the match to give Germany its first victory over Spain since 1994, and then led the celebrations in front of the enthusiastic home crowd.
Germany will next play France in the quarter-finals in April, while five-time champion Spain faces a World Group playoff in September.
Defending champion Czech Republic up 2-1
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek won the doubles for the defending champion Czech Republic to take a 2-1 lead over the Netherlands in the Davis Cup first round on Saturday.
The Czechs defeated Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) in almost four hours on an indoor hard court at CEZ Arena to improve to a 15-1 record in the cup doubles.
The Czechs converted their second match point in the tiebreaker with Haase sending a volley too long.
The Czechs, seeking their third straight Davis Cup title are one win away from the quarter-finals while the Dutch must win both reverse singles on Sunday to reach the quarters for the first time since 2005.
On Sunday, Berdych plays Haase then Stepanek faces Igor Sijsling.
Switzerland takes down Serbia
Switzerland won the Davis Cup first-round tie against Serbia after Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer beat Nenad Zimonjic and Filip Krajinovic in the doubles for an unbeatable 3-0 lead on Saturday.
Switzerland faces Belgium or Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals in April.
A confident Chiudinelli and Lammer defeated veteran doubles player Zimonjic and young Krajinovic 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (2).
"We congratulate the Swiss team," Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said. "Our guys did their best, but didn't have luck."
On Friday, Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka won their opening singles.
Serbia, last year's finalist, was playing without its three top players, Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.