Switzerland and Czech Republic play longest doubles match in Davis Cup history
Czech Republic win 24-22 in final set in match lasting seven hours and two minutes
Bryan brothers suffer shock loss to Brazilian pair in Florida
Serbia and France safely through to quarterfinal after 3-0 wins over Belgium and Israel
Switzerland and the Czech Republic broke new ground in Davis Cup tennis on Saturday playing out the longest match in the tournament’s history in Geneva.
Lasting seven hours and two minutes, the doubles match between Swiss pair Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli and Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol comfortably beat the previous record of six hours 20 minutes set in 1982 when John McEnroe beat Mats Wilander (9-7 6-2 15-17 3-6 8-6) in the tie between the United States and Sweden.
The epic match eventually went the Czech pair’s way 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-7(5-7) 24-22 to hand them a 2-1 lead heading into Sunday’s reverse singles.
Wawrinka, who toiled for five hours against Novak Djokovic in Melbourne two weeks ago, tweeted after the match: “Ice bath done! Now massage and food… Lets be ready for tomorrow!!!!???? … And congrats to Berdich and Rosol!”
The Swiss no.2 must win the first singles match against Berdych on Sunday to keep the tie alive.
The U.S.’s tie with Brazil in Florida is also well poised after the Bryan brothers suffered a shock five-set defeat (6-7 7-6 4-6 6-3 3-6) to Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares on Saturday.
John Isner will play Thomaz Bellucci in the first reverse singles match on Sunday. Should he win, the U.S. will play Serbia in the quarterfinals in April.
The 2010 champions reached the last eight on Saturday when Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic defeated Belgian pair Steve Darcis and Ruben Bemelmans in four sets 6-4 6-4 5-7 6-4. The victory followed wins for world no.1 Novak Djokovic and Troicki in Friday’s singles matches.
France are also safely through to the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Israel in Rouen.
Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau beat Israeli pairing Dudi Sela and Jonathan Erlich in straight sets 7-6 (7/3) 6-1 6-0 which followed singles’ wins for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet on Friday.
The French, whose last Davis Cup triumph was in 2001 will now play Argentina after they whitewashed Germany in Buenos Aires – David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos winning their doubles match against Christopher Kas and Tobias Kamke 6-1 6-4 5-7 6-2.
In Vancouver, Spain – runners up in 2012 – are in danger of losing to Canada. The hosts are currently 2-0 up against a Spanish team without Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco.
The ties between Italy and Croatia and Kazakhstan and Austria will be decided on Sunday.
Italy hold the edge in their tie in Turin after Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini won their doubles match against Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig on Saturday.
Austra fought back against Kazakhstan in Astana on Saturday with Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya winning their doubles match against Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin in straight sets 7-6 6-3 7-6.