Serbia and France set up a Davis Cup semi-final showdown yesterday while 32-time winners United States and Italy, who stunned defending champions Argentina in the first round, stayed alive with marathon wins.
In Belgrade, Serbia’s Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic defeated Pablo Carreno-Busta and Marc Lopez 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 to seal victory over Spain while, in Rouen, France also took an unassailable 3-0 lead against Great Britain.
France, the nine-time champions, will host 2010 winners Serbia in the semi-finals in September.
However, the identity of the other semi-finalists will not be known until today after the United States pulled back to 2-1 down against Australia in Brisbane while Italy battled to trail Belgium 2-1 at Charleroi.
Novak Djokovic and Troicki had won Friday’s singles to give Serbia a 2-0 lead over Spain before the hosts took an unassailable advantage yesterday against the five-time champions who were missing 14-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.
Victory gave 40-year-old playing-captain Zimonjic, who has not missed a Davis Cup tie for a decade, a 30th win in the tournament. “He had pressure, he put himself into play and did a great job,” said Troicki.
France reached their fifth semi-final in eight years when Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau defeated Britain’s Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot 7-6 (9/7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-5.
“We had a great weekend, it gave me goosebumps,” said France captain Yannick Noah.
In Brisbane, Steve Johnson and Jack Sock kept American hopes alive with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 win over Australia’s John Peers and Sam Groth.
The win sets up an intriguing final day, with Nick Kyrgios taking on Sock in the first of the reverse singles.
Key quarter-final results from yesterday
Belgium 2 Italy 1
Andreas Seppi/Simone Bolelli (ITA) bt Ruben Bemelmans/Joris De Loore (BEL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6)
Australia 2 USA 1
Steve Johnson/Jack Sock (USA) bt Sam Groth/John Peers (AUS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
France 3 Great Britain 0
Nicolas Mahut/Julien Benneteau (FRA) bt Jamie Murray/Dominic Inglot (GBR) 7-6 (9/7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-5
Serbia 3 Spain 0
Nenad Zimonjic/Viktor Troicki (SRB) bt Marc Lopez/Pablo Carreno-Busta (ESP) 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-0, 4-6, 6-2
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