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Favorites struggle in Davis Cup quarterfinals

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm •  Published: April 4, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Two of the favorites struggled on the first day of the Davis Cup quarterfinals Friday, with Germany closing in on a big upset against France and Switzerland only managing to split the opening singles matches against Kazakhstan.

In the match of the day, 119th-ranked Peter Gojowczyk beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a five-set marathon to give injury-hit Germany a 2-0 lead over host France. Gojowczyk won 5-7, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (8), 8-6 after Tobias Kamke had defeated Julien Benneteau 7-6 (8), 6-3, 6-2.

"It is incredible, that was unexpected. To feel the spirit and atmosphere of the place is great," Germany captain Carsten Arriens said. "He was playing against Tsonga so you can't expect him to win, but he stayed in the match."

Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka also surprisingly lost his opening singles match for host Switzerland against 64th-ranked Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5). That left it up to Roger Federer to even the best-of-five series at 1-1 by easily dispatching Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

"I was very satisfied with my performance," Federer said. "It doesn't change in terms of being 1-0 up or down — I have to make sure I played my match."

The Czech Republic lived up to its status as favorite, although both Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol had to work hard before winning their singles matches to give the defending champion a 2-0 lead over Japan. Stepanek beat Tatsuma Ito 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5), 6-1, 7-5 at Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo and Rosol overcame Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2.

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