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Dhaka Tribune

Federer, Wawrinka slump, Britain eye semi-final

Update : 06 Apr 2014, 06:03 PM

Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka slumped to a shock defeat in the Davis Cup on Saturday while Great Britain edged closer to a first semi-final appearance since 1981.

Seventeen-time Grand Slam title winner Federer and Wawrinka, the reigning Australian Open champion, may have had the pedigree of being the 2008 Olympic doubles champions.

But they were embarrassed by minnows Kazakhstan who opened up a 2-1 lead in their quarter-final clash in Geneva.

Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov stunned world number four Federer and Wawrinka, the third-ranked singles player, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6).

Saturday's loss was the Swiss duo's fourth straight Davis Cup loss as a team having also lost the doubles against USA and Netherlands in 2012 and Australia in 2011.

Wawrinka had also lost his opening singles on Friday, going down 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5) to 64th ranked Golubev before Federer then stormed to a straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Mikhail Kukushkin to level the tie.

"We have defeated the Olympic champions and it's a special momment. I am proud of our team," said Nedovyesov, the world 128 in doubles.

On Sunday, Switzerland will need to win both reverse singles with Wawrinka due to face Kukushkin while Federer takes on Golubev.

"I'm not overly worried about what happened the last couple of days," said Federer.

"We knew the Kazakhs have been playing well in Davis Cup the last few years now. So it's for us now to shine and prove ourselves. We are good players and we are the favourites still."

- Murray in key Fognini clash -

Sunday's winners will face either Italy or Great Britain in September's semi-finals.

Andy Murray and Colin Fleming edged Britain a step closer to ending their 33-year wait for a place in the last-four with a hard-fought doubles win in Naples.

Their 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win over Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini means Murray can wrap up the quarter-final on Sunday with a win over Fognini.

Wimbledon champion Murray won the pair's last clash on clay in Monaco five years ago.

"It should be a tough match, Fabio has played really well this year, especially on clay. But hopfully I can play a good match and finish the tie," said the Scot.

Italy last advanced to the semi-finals in 1998 when they went on to finish runners-up to Sweden.

Title holders the Czech Republic reached the semi-finals after clinically dispatching Japan in Saturday's doubles to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in Tokyo.

Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol beat Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in front of the Japanese emperor and empress as the two-time defending champions set up a clash with either France or Germany from September 12-14.

"The Japanese guys fought their hearts out but we had it pretty much under control," said Stepanek, who won the deciding rubber for the Czechs in the last two finals -- against Spain and Serbia respectively.

In Nancy, France stayed alive against Germany when Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau beat Tobias Kamke and Andre Begemann 6-1, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5 in the doubles.

Germany had shrugged off the absence of their top six players to take a shock 2-0 lead on Friday.

Benneteau slumped to a 7-6 (10/8), 6-3, 6-2 loss to world number 96 Kamke in the day's opening rubber.

Then world number 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga squandered a match point to lose 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 7-6 (10/8), 8-6 to Peter Gojowczyk, the world 119.


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