The first round of the Davis Cup is in the books for the 2014 tournament, and there were some early surprises over an exciting weekend of tennis action. Here is a look back at the results for each match and a breakdown of each tie.
Czech Republic 3 Netherlands 2
R. Haase (Ned) def. R. Stepanek (CZE); 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1
T. Berdych (CZE) def. I. Sijsling (NED); 6-3, 6-3, 6-0
T. Berdych/R. Stepanek (CZE) def. R. Haase/J. Rojer (NED); 7-5, 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(4)
T. Berdych (CZE) def. T. De Bakker (NED); 6-1, 6-4, 6-3
I. Sijsling (NED) def. L. Rosol (CZE); 6-3, 6-3
The Netherlands was able to start things off on a good foot as Robin Haase was able to defeat Radek Stepanek in a tough five-set battle. The Czech Republic responded in full force, though, led by their top seed Tomas Berdych. Berdych won his Friday singles match in straight sets, was a part of the Saturday doubles victory, and then won in straight sets in his reverse singles match on Sunday. The Netherlands added on a win at the end, but the tie had already been won by the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic advances to the quarterfinals where they will face Japan.
Japan 4 Canada 1
K. Nishikori (JPN) def. P. Polansky (CAN); 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
F. Dancevic (CAN) def. G. Soeda (JPN); 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-1
K. Nishikori/Y. Uchiyama (JPN) def. F. Dancevic/D. Nestor (CAN); 6-3, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4
K. Nishikori (JPN) def. F. Dancevic (CAN); 6-2, 1-0 (retired)
G. Soeda (JPN) def. P. Polansky (CAN); 6-1, 6-4
It would really have been a long shot for Canada to beat Japan in their first-round tie. Japan's top-seed Kei Nishikori was by far the best player on either side, and he showed that by winning both of his singles matches and by winning in the doubles match on Saturday. Frank Dancevic kept the Canadian side alive through the first day with a straight sets victory in the second match, but after day one, the Japanese just flat-out outclassed the Canadians.
Japan advances into the quarterfinals to face the Czech Republic.
Germany 4 Spain 1
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) def. R. Bautista Agut (SPA); 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
F. Mayer (GER) def. F. Lopez (SPA); 7-6(6), 7-6(4), 1-6, 5-7, 6-3
D. Brands/T. Haas (GER) def. D. Marrero/F. Verdasco (SPA); 7-6(5), 6-7(9), 7-6(7), 6-3
F. Lopez (SPA) def. P. Kohlschreiber (GER); walkover
D. Brands (GER) def. R. Bautista Augt (SPA); 7-6(5), 6-4
No Rafael Nadal, no victory for the Spanish. The Germans came out and hit Spain hard right from the first serve. The win Florian Mayer earned over Feliciano Lopez in a tough five-set victory put the Spaniards in an early 2-0 hole after the first day, and they were unable to recover from there. Spain's only victory came from a walkover that Lopez had over Kohlschreiber in the fourth rubber. Besides that, it was total domination from Germany.
Germany advances through to the quarterfinals where they will face France.
France 5 Australia 0
R. Gasquet (FRA) def. N. Kyrgios (AUS); 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-2
J. Tsonga (FRA) def. L. Hewitt (AUS); 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(2)
R. Gasquet/J. Tsonga (FRA) def. C. Guccione/L. Hewitt (AUS); 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-2, 7-5
J. Benneteau (FRA) def. T. Kokkinakis (AUS); 6-4, 6-1
G. Monfils (FRA) def. N. Kyrgios (AUS); 7-6(5), 6-4
The French team is incredibly strong this year, and they proved that in their opening-round tie against Australia. Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are both top-10 singles players and proved that early on in straight set victories. Then, after a doubles victory on Saturday from Gasquet and Tsonga, Julien Benneteau and Gael Monfils, who are both ranked in the top-40 in the singles rankings, earned straight set wins on Sunday.
France moves on into the quarterfinals where they will face Japan.
Great Britain 3 USA 1
A. Murray (GBR) def. D. Young (USA); 6-1, 6-2, 6-3
J. Ward (GBR) def. S. Querrey (USA); 1-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
B. Bryan/M. Bryan (USA) def. C. Fleming/D. Inglot (GBR); 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
A. Murray (GBR) def. S. Querrey (USA); 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-3
J. Ward (GBR) D. Young (USA); Match Not Played
It was an extremely disappointing weekend for the United States as Great Britain came in and pulled out a historic victory to advance into the quarterfinals. James Ward got the big victory of the weekend over Sam Querrey in the second of Friday's singles matches. Andy Murray, the top-ranked player in the tie, brought his best game, as well, to pick up two victories for the British, and send them through to the quarterfinals.
Great Britain will face off against Italy in the quarterfinals.
Italy 3 Argentina 1
C. Berlocq (ARG) def. A. Seppi (ITA); 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-1
F. Fognini (ITA) def. J. Monaco (ARG); 7-5, 6-2, 6-2
S. Bolelli/F. Volandri (ITA) def. E. Schwank/H. Zeballos (ARG); 6-7(6), 7-6(8), 7-6(3), 6-4
F. Fognini (ITA) def. C. Berlocq (ARG); 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
A. Seppi (ITA) J. Monaco (ARG); Match Not Played
Fabio Fognini and the rest of the Italians were simply too strong for Argentina over the weekend. Carlos Berlocq got Argentina off to a good start with a victory over Andreas Seppi in the first singles match. But Fabio Fognini came in and carried Italy to three straight victories to lead the Italians over Argentina into the quarterfinals.
Italy advances into the quarterfinals where they will face off against Great Britain.
Kazakhstan 3 Belgium 2
M. Kukushkin (KAZ) def. R. Bemelmans (BEL); 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3
A. Golubev (KAZ) def. D. Goffin (BEL); 7-6(9), 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, 12-10
R. Bemelmans/O. Rochus (BEL) def. M. Kukushkin/E. Korolev (KAZ); 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(4)
D. Goffin (BEL) def. M. Kukushkin (KAZ); 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0
A. Golubev (KAZ) def. R. Bemelmans (BEL); 6-2, 6-3, 6-1
Kazakhstan and Belgium proved to be the most exciting tie of the entire weekend. Kazakhstan jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over Belgium after the first day of singles matches. The doubles team came back and got a victory for Belgium on day two, followed by a win in rubber four which brought us to a fifth and decisive fifth rubber for a spot in the quarterfinals. The match was won in straight sets by Kazakhstan and was not very competitive, but it was exciting to see a match go to a fifth and final rubber for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Kazakhstan advances to the quarterfinals where they will face off against Switzerland.
Switzerland 3 Serbia 2
R. Federer (SUI) def. I. Bozoljac (SRB); 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
S. Wawrinka (SUI) def. D. Lajovic (SRB); 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(7)
M. Chiudinelli/M. Lammer (SUI) def. F. Krajinovic/N. Zimonjic (SRB); 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-2
D. Lajovic (SRB) def. M. Lammer (SUI); 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
F. Krajinovic (SRB) def. M. Chiudinelli (SUI); 6-4, 6-4
Switzerland brought out the big guns to face off against Serbia, and they did not let them down. Roger Federer led the Swiss to an early victory in the first rubber, and Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka followed that up with a victory in the second rubber. After losing the tie 3-0, Serbia came back to win the final two rubbers, but the final result of the tie was already well decided.
Switzerland advances through to the quarterfinals where they will face off against Kazakhstan.
Eight countries now remain for the 2014 Davis Cup title.
The quarterfinal ties will take place between April 4-6.