PARIS, France – Kyle Edmund won his second singles rubber of the weekend to steer Davis Cup champion Great Britain past Serbia on Sunday, July 17 (Monday, July 18) and into a mouthwatering semifinal clash against Argentina.
Edmund, ranked at 67 in the world, justified his position as his country's top player in the absence of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to see off Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) on the back of 39 winners for an unbeatable 3-1 lead.
"You want to win for your country. When you know what is at stake – I'm so pleased that I've won," said Edmund.
Britain goes on to host Argentina in September after the South Americans reached the semifinals with a 3-1 win over Italy in Pesaro.
Argentina has won the last 3 Davis Cup meetings between the two countries in 1981, 1989 and 2008 while Britain's only win was in 1928 in the sleepy seaside town of Torquay.
Edmund had defeated Janko Tipsarevic on Friday in the opening singles as the host, Davis Cup champion in 2010, paid heavily for not being able to call upon Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki, comfortably its top two players.
Lajovic leveled the tie with a win over James Ward before Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot defeated Nenad Zimonjic and Filip Krajinovic in the doubles.
Argentina, which has never won the Davis Cup, saw Federico Delbonis defeat recently-married Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 on Sunday.
Delbonis, the world number 40, had also pocketed the first point on Friday by beating Andreas Seppi, the world 52, before Fognini saw off Juan Monaco in straight sets to level the quarterfinal.
Juan Martin Del Potro, back in the Argentina team for the first time in 4 years, then teamed with Guido Pella to defeat Fognini and Paolo Lorenzi in the doubles.
Argentina has now made the semifinals 11 times in the last 15 years.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sent France into the last-4 after beating Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic to hand his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in Trinec.
World number 10 Tsonga beat 50th-ranked Vesely 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 7-5 in 3 hours and 28 minutes as France won on Czech soil for the first time in 90 years.
Experience pays off
"With the experience I have, I knew that even despite a poor start it's not over, it goes on, the rubber is long," Tsonga told reporters.
"But I really had to work hard to win today."
In its quest for a first Davis Cup title since 2001, France will face Croatia in the other semifinal after the Croatians rallied from an 0-2 deficit to oust the USA 3-2.
Borna Coric defeated Jack Sock 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday in the fifth and final rubber to book the semifinal berth for Croatia in Portland, Oregon.
"It’s not easy to play in a fifth match obviously," the 19-year-old Coric said.
"I have to be honest, I like that kind of situation. I like it more than playing on the Court 27 somewhere far away from the crowd, the people. I just like big stage more."
Former US Open champion Marin Cilic kept Croatia alive with a 3-set win over American John Isner.
Cilic's 7-6 (11/9), 6-3, 6-4 victory pulled Croatia level at 2-2 to set the stage for a decisive duel between Sock and Coric. – Rappler.com