MOSCOW -- Russia beat Serbia in the Davis
Cup when a sick Novak Djokovic retired from his match against
Nikolay Davydenko, handing the home team the clinching point in a 3-2 win in their first-round tie Sunday.
In the final match, Davis Cup rookie Viktor Troicki beat Dmitry Tursunov 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to give Serbia its second point.
The Australian Open champion had won the first two sets and
was 3-0 up in the third despite being way below his best and
often struggling for breath after suffering from flu symptoms in
the last few days.
However, Davydenko staged a miraculous recovery to win the
third set 6-4, after which the Serbian decided to quit.
"I stopped because I didn't want to risk my health,"
Djokovic told reporters after showing up for a news conference
more than an hour after his match.
"I didn't go to hospital after all but still, I was feeling
very dizzy. I was losing a lot of energy. It's not easy to play
when you have a virus infection."
A Serbian team spokesman had earlier said Djokovic was taken
to a local hospital suffering from exhaustion.
The home team had led 2-0 after sweeping both singles
matches on Friday but Djokovic kept alive Serbia's hopes when he
teamed up with Nenad Zimonjic to win Saturday's doubles.
With Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic also sidelined by a
stomach bug and ankle injury, the visitors gambled on the unfit
Djokovic to challenge the Russians' top player.
"It was my decision to play the match," said Djokovic.
The world No. 3, cheered on by a small but vocal
Serbian contingent at Moscow's Luzhniki arena, broke Davydenko
in the 12th game to take the first set 6-4.
After losing his serve in the opening game of the second
set, the 20-year-old Serb broke right back, then repeated the
trick two games later to build a 4-1 lead.
Djokovic then saved four break points in the ninth to clinch
the second set 6-3.
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Davydenko when he
fell behind 3-0 at the start of the third set.
But the Russian staged a remarkable comeback, reeling off
four consecutive games to win the third set only to see Djokovic
walking off the court.
"I was completely shocked to see him walking out," Davydenko
Sweden rallies for 3-2 win to reach Davis Cup quarters
The Swedes will travel to Argentina, 4-1 winners over
Britain, in the quarterfinals in April.
Bjorkman, 35, came back from losing the first set 6-0 to win
the next three 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in a tense display where Levy, making
his return to Davis Cup after three years, failed to convert a
number of good chances.
"I started off pretty badly, I felt that it couldn't get
much worse ... but in a five-setter you always have the chance to
get back into the match," Bjorkman told reporters.
"Harel was just blocking the returns so it allowed me to
come in and take charge of the points straight away," he added.
Using his doubles experience, Bjorkman chipped and charged
the net and kept the points short with serve and volley tactics.
Levy's concentration wavered and he was unable to hold his
serve consistently, allowing Bjorkman to break in the following
Sweden went into Sunday's reverse singles needing to win
both matches. Thomas Johansson opened the day with a 7-6, 6-1, 7-5
victory over Israel's Dudi Sela, 10 years his junior, in the
warm Tel Aviv sunshine.
After losing the first set tiebreak, Sela
appeared drained and Johansson stormed into the
The match looked as good as over in the third set when the
32-year-old Swede raced to 3-0 but the heat seemed to take its
toll a little on Johansson and Sela came back to lead 4-3 before
"It's not every day that you play a first set that lasts an
hour and 25 minutes ... I was happy to win that and afterwards I
started to play much better," Johansson said.
Kohlschreiber sends Germany through after win over South Korea
BERLIN, Germany -- Philipp Kohlschreiber held on to
beat South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 on Sunday and
send Germany through to the semifinals of the Davis Cup with a
South Korea's Jun Woong-sun beat Germany's Michael Berrer 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in the final singles match.
Kohlschreiber was so dominant in the first set on the indoor
clay court in Braunschweig that a German victory looked a mere
formality but a moment of carelessness let Lee back in and the
match turned into a real scrap.
Lee, South Korea's most experienced Davis Cup player, edged
into a 3-2 lead with a break in the second set after taking
advantage of a limp Kohlschreiber forehand to the net.
The German hit back to take the third in a
similar style to the first but Lee saved four breakpoints at the
start of the fourth set and looked the stronger player for much
Kohlschreiber, who needed treatment on a sore calf, saved
his best tennis for the tiebreak, taking it 7-1 to give Germany
the vital third point.
"I'm delighted with the way it all went," said
Kohlschreiber, Germany's top player in the absence of the
injured Tommy Haas. "It's been a super week for me."
Germany, who lost in the semifinals last year, will play
Spain in the quarterfinals.
France finishes off thrashing of Romania
The former champions will now play on the road against the defending champion Americans in the quarterfinals in April.
Clement and Llodra had already teamed up in the doubles to
clinch the winning third point for France on Saturday, after
Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and world No. 7 Richard Gasquet had won their singles on Friday.
On Sunday, Llodra beat the experienced Andrei Pavel 7-6, 7-6
in the reverse singles before Clement beat Horia Tecau 7-6, 2-6,
Britain avoids shutout against Argentina
Argentina, runners-up in 2006, had already secured their
place in the quarterfinals on Saturday after taking a 3-0 lead.
Jose Acasuso extended Argentina's lead to 4-0 earlier on
Sunday, defeating Alex Bogdanovic 7-5, 7-5 in the first reverse
Acasuso fought back from behind in both sets but converted
his first match point to seal the win 1 hour, 34 minutes.
Baker had been expected to surrender in similar fashion as
he was ranked 194 places below No. 41 Calleri.
However, he proved that he could last the distance on the
Argentine's favored red clay surface and emerged triumphant.
Argentina will host Sweden in the last eight tie in April. Britain will aim to preserve their World Group status in a
relegation playoff in September.
Spain advances with sweep of Peru
The victory propelled the 2004 champions to a quarterfinal
showdown with Germany in April.
After sealing the tie on Saturday in the doubles, Robredo beat Mauricio Echazu 6-4, 6-1 before Almagro
sealed the sweep with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ivan Miranda.
"It was well disputed and playing here in Peru is something
I will always hold dear as it marked my debut in the world
group," said Almagro.
Peru, who made it to the world group for the first time
this year, were hobbled by injuries and illness.
Echazu was a last-minute substitute for Matias Silva, who
had to withdraw with a stomach problem. Silva himself had been
a replacement for Luis Horna, who withdrew with an arm injury.