As always in the Davis Cup, the competition throws up all sorts of surprises no less than USA’s whitewash away from home over Switzerland on the Clay. Mardy Fish came through a thrilling 5 set match against Stanislas Wawrinka. But it was John Isner who gave the Swiss team the biggest shock stunning Roger Federer from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 to give the USA a 2-0 lead. The American team then won the tie on Saturday in the doubles with Mike Bryan pairing Mardy Fish, a smart move from Captain Jim Courier, taking the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Last year’s winners Spain joined the Americans in the quarter finals after winning their tie 3-0 against Kazakhstan. Argentina and the Czech Republic have moved through to the next round with wins over Germany and Italy respectively.
Great Britain had a fantastic start against Slovakia with young Dan Evans winning in straight sets against a player ranked in the top 100 Lucas Lacko 6-3, 7-5, 7-5. James Ward couldn’t carry on the momentum as he lost to Martin Klizan 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 in a tough encounter which levelled the tie at 1-1.
Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming won their doubles clash against Filip Polasek and Michael Mertinak. The British pairing fought their way into a 2 set lead but lost their form magnificently in the third set as they managed to lose every single game. However they rediscovered their form to take the match 6-3, 7-6(4), 0-6, 6-3 to give the Brits a 2-1 lead into the deciding day.
This lead did not last as Lucas Lacko proved he was worth his ranking beating James Ward in a match where Ward had his chances. But the Slovak eventually came through 7-6(9), 6-1, 6-3.
All hopes rested on Dan Evans who had never won a Davis Cup match before this weekend. But he kept his confidence levels up and won a 5 set thriller to give Great Britain the tie 3-2. Evans played an amazing first 2 sets showing a magnificent array of shot making from all areas of the court. His opponent Klizan showed why he has the higher ranking as he has beaten six top 100 players in the past year as he fought back to 2 sets all. But Evans came back to take the tie after his opponent gave away a double fault on match point 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3.
Great Britain will now play Belgium at home in the next round.