Tennis News Wire -
It was a very temporary reprieve.
Austria had managed to win the doubles rubber to keep their tie with Spain alive until Sunday. But it definitely wasn't a Sunday on which they experienced a resurrection. They got buried fast. David Ferrer clinched by beating Jurgen Melzer 7-5 6-3 6-3.
Interestingly, the Spanish did not substitute; Nicolas Almagro played the reverse singles. The Austrians did switch -- and their only available players were doubles specialists. Little wonder that Almagro won the dead rubber 7-5 7-5, since his opponent was Alexander Peya.
The Americans, much more surprisingly, also clinched in four. John Isner scored a surprisingly easy 6-3 7-6 5-7 6-3 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and the Americans were through. That took the pressure off both Gilles Simon and Ryan Harrison -- and Simon, who had struggled before, beat Harrison easily. 6-2 6-3. Pretty clear that Isner was the most valuable player of this tie....
The rankings say Tomas Berdych is only one spot ahead of Janko Tipsarevic. But per-tournament scores show a big gap. Maybe the result of the Czechs-versus-Serbs tie shows it, too. Berdych beat Tipsarevic in straight sets, although all three sets went to tiebreaks. That gave the Czechs an insurmountable lead.
It's interesting to note that Viktor Troicki was willing to play out the dead rubber. But he really wasn't up for it. Czech substitute Lukas Rosol beat him 7-6 7-5.
Juan Martin del Potro once again showed no signs whatsoever of physical problems. He won his rubber against Croatia's Marin Cilic 6-1 6-2 6-1. That gave Argentina a 3-1 lead -- and let David Nalbandian off the hook for another five hour match. He didn't even have to play; Juan Monaco came in and beat Antonio Veic 6-1 6-1 to give Argentina a 4-1 win.
It will be Spain versus the U.S. and the Czechs versus Argentina in the next round. We can be pretty sure about the surface for the former. The latter is a lot less clear....