Russia 3, Serbia 2
The story of this tie, of course, was Serbia being shorthanded in its upset bid of the powerful Russian squad. Instead of sending out Novak Djokovic and Janko Tipsarevic for the first day of singles, the team had to go with Viktor Troicki and doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic. Both players put forth admirable efforts, but ultimately Troicki fell to Nikolay Davydenko in five sets and Zimonjic lost to Mikhail Youzhny in four after stunning the Russian in the first set. Djokovic played through his sickness to team with Zimonjic for the doubles point, but he retired the next day against Davydenko while leading two sets to one, allowing Russia to clinch the tie. Djokovic has a history of questionable injuries and ailments, but it's hard to imagine him giving anything less than his absolute best when playing for his country, so he has to receive the benefit of the doubt. The bottom line is that it's just disappointing the Serbs could not contest this tie at full strength; otherwise it would have been a scintillating first-round pairing.
Czech Republic 3, Belgium 2
This was nowhere near as close as the 3-2 score indicated. The tie was over after the Czech’s epic doubles victory on Saturday. One day after sweeping their singles matches in straight sets, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek teamed up to defeat Kristof Vliegen and Olivier Rochus 6-4 in the fifth. With Berdych and Stepanek on board, it’s no surprise the Czechs took care of business before things ever got suspenseful.
Argentina 4, Great Britain 1
The story of this tie wasn’t so much about the winners as it was the losers. Andy Murray chose to skip the weekend’s festivities, instead opting to rest of for the ATP tournament in Marseille. That did not sit well with Murray’s brother, Jamie, who was part of the Great Britain squad. Without Andy in the mix, Great Britain’s hard fall at the hands of Argentina was not unexpected. Led by David Nalbandian, who secured points in both singles and doubles, the Argentines did not drop a single set in their three match wins over the first two days of play.
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