LONDON (AP) — The Czech Republic became the first team to reach the Davis Cup semifinals Saturday, while heavily favored Switzerland had another disappointing loss in the doubles and France kept alive its quarterfinal against Germany.
The defending champion Czechs clinched an unassailable 3-0 lead over Japan after Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol comfortably beat Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles.
That's the only quarterfinal that has gone according to script so far, as Switzerland and France both find themselves down 2-1 going into the reverse singles on Sunday.
Many expected Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka to have wrapped up Switzerland's best-of-five series against Kazakhstan by now as well, but the former Olympic doubles champions were beaten 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) by Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
That came after Wawrinka lost his singles match to Golubev on Saturday, meaning there's no more room for mistakes for the heavily favored Swiss.
"I'm actually very excited for tomorrow," Federer said. "We are still the favorites for each singles match tomorrow, but with no more margin for error and we're aware of that."
Germany entered its quarterfinal without its top three players, but Tobias Kamke and Peter Gojowczyk surprisingly won their opening singles matches to give the visitors a 2-0 lead on Friday against France. However, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra held their nerve to beat Andre Begemann and Kamke 6-1, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5 to stay in the series.
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