Serbia beat Sweden to reach Davis Cup semis


As expected, Davis Cup holders Serbia eased into this year’s semi-finals after Janko Tipsarevic crushed Sweden’s Michael Ryderstedt in their last-eight singles rubber here on Sunday Tipsarevic — standing in for Novak Djokovic — won the fourth rubber of the weekend in three straight sets (6-2, 7-5, 6-3) to secure Serbia a semi-final meeting with Argentina, themselves easy 5-0 winners against Kazakhstan.
Ryderstedt, who was playing his first ever Davis Cup with a world ranking of 297, had put up a good fight but lost to Viktor Troicki in the first rubber on Friday. Tipsarevic then gave Serbia a 2-0 lead, getting past Ervin Eleskovic when he retired injured.
The hosts did see their hopes rekindled on Saturday when Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt won the doubles rubber in straight sets, defeating Wimbledon champion and world number one Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic, who ranks sixth in the world for doubles. But on Sunday, Tipsarevic clearly had the upper hand, breaking Ryderstedt no fewer than six times en route to victory. Troicki and Lindstedt are playing in the final rubber of the weekend.
Hewitt gives Australia
3-1 Davis Cup lead: Lleyton Hewitt secured a 3-1 win for Australia on Sunday in the Asia-Oceania second-round tie in Beijing, sending his squad to the Davis Cup tennis World Group playoffs. The 30-year-old came off the bench, replacing Marinko Matosevic, to defeat Zhang Ze 6-2, 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(2).
Hewitt’s 18-year-old Davis Cup teammate Bernard Tomic levelled the tie at 1-1 on Friday, beating Zhang 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
But Hewitt, who is ranked 173 in the world and fourth in Australia, showed he still has fight in him, extending his record as Australia’s most successful player to 46 total wins and 37 singles wins in the Cup. A victory alongside Chris Guccione on Saturday lifted his doubles record to 9-3.
China has never advanced to the elite World Group, missing by just one match in 1987 and again in 1990. The Asian nation has had amazing success in women’s tennis, with Li Na making history at the French Open this year by becoming the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam. While China’s male players have yet to enjoy similar success, the Davis Cup squad could represent the future of men’s tennis in the country, with players aged just 19 to 24.
Japan advance in style in Davis Cup: Kei Nishikori defeated Denis Istomin in a four-set thriller as Japan stormed to a 4-1 win over Uzbekistan to reach the play-offs for the Davis Cup World Group on Sunday. Nishikori, who also won his first singles and doubles matches, scored a 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 victory in the best-of-five contest of the Asia-Oceania zone Group One second-round tie.
In the shortened final dead rubber, Go Soeda whipped Sarvar Ikramov 7-5, 6-0 to complete the emphatic scoreline. Istomin gave Uzbekistan the perfect start by beating Tatsuma Ito in the opener on Friday, but Farrukh Dustov retired with dehydration against Nishikori, who along with Soeda won the doubles on Saturday. The play-off for the World Group will be played September 16-18.