Britain wins without Murray, Croatia beats US in Davis Cup
Wimbledon champion Andy Murray joined in the celebrations — if not the matches — as defending Davis Cup champion Britain beat Serbia 3-2 Sunday to set up a semifinal against Argentina, which handed Italy its first home loss in the tournament in seven years.
Croatia rallied for a comeback 3-2 victory over the United States, with Borna Coric beating Jack Sock 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the decisive match in Portland, Oregon to set up a semifinal against France.
Marin Cilic set up the deciding fifth match by beating John Isner 7-6 (9), 6-3, 6-4 in the first reverse singles match on Sunday after combining with Ivan Dodig on Saturday for a win over twins Bob and Mike Bryan in doubles to keep Croatia alive in the contest after the Americans swept the opening singles matches.
Croatia Croatia reached the semifinals for the first time since 2009. It won its only Davis Cup title in 2005.
The U.S. lost for the fourth time in 161 tries when leading 2-0 lead in a Davis Cup tie.
On a wet and windy day at the outdoor Tasmajdan clay-court stadium in Belgrade, Kyle Edmund’s 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win against Dusan Lajovic in the reverse singles gave Britain an unassailable 3-1 lead against host Serbia.
The 21-year-old Edmund also won his opening singles on Friday against Janko Tipsarevic as he assumed the role of leader of the team because Murray was on the sidelines.
Murray decided not to play in the quarterfinals a few days after his second Wimbledon title but was there to support the team.
Edmund was the highest-ranked player in the two teams at No. 67. Serbia played without top-ranked Novak Djokovic and the country’s No. 2 Viktor Troicki.
Federico Delbonis avenged his first-round defeat at Wimbledon when he beat Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in an entertaining 3 1/2 hours, helping Argentina to win its quarterfinal 3-1 and advance to its 11th semifinal in 14 years. The last reverse singles match was scrapped.
The first two sets took a similar pattern: Delbonis broke early, Fognini rallied to level and Delbonis broke back to clinch each set at Circolo Tennis Baratof in Pesaro, Italy.
They swapped places in the third set. Fognini went up early, Delbonis came back to even terms, and Fognini, despite some racket throwing, broke back and held on.
In a dramatic fourth, Delbonis’ errors had him down 5-3 before breaking serve at love for 5-4. Fognini had four set points on Delbonis’ serve in the next game, but the Argentine saved them all and made it 5-5. Fognini conceded a third straight game, and gave Delbonis a chance to serve it out, which he took on his third match point.
The Argentines celebrated on the outdoor clay court, and will take a 3-1 record against Britain when they travel for their Sept. 16-18 semifinal.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame an early scare to win the opening reverse singles to give France a 3-1 victory over host Czech Republic at Werk Arena in Trinec.
Amid increased security following the deadly attack in the French city of Nice, Tsonga rallied to beat Jiri Vesely 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-5 and earn a spot in the Davis Cup semis for France for the second time in three years.
Wimbledon doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert had beaten Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 on Saturday to give France a 2-1 lead. On Friday, Rosol beat Tsonga in a five-setter, and Lucas Pouille made a victorious Davis Cup debut by beating Vesely in straight sets.
France has nine Davis Cup titles, but it last won in 2001. The French will have to travel for the semifinal against Croatia.