Germany grabs 2-0 lead over France in Davis Cup

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Nancy, France (4E Sports) – World No. 119 Peter Gojowczyk defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 7-6 (10-8), 8-6, as Germany stormed to a 2-0 lead over favorite France in the Davis Cup quarterfinal.

The 24-year-old Gojowczyk saved two match points in the fourth set before converting on his third match point in the fifth that sealed the victory over the 12th-ranked Tsonga in four hours and 19 minutes.

In Friday’s opener, Tobias Kamke took down world No. 50 Frenchman Julien Benneteau in straight sets, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3, 6-2.

Saturday’s doubles will pit a French team of Michael Llodra and Gael Monfils versus a German tandem of Kamke and Andre Begemann. Sunday’s reverse singles will see Tsonga facing Kamke and Benneteau battling Gojowczyk.

The winner will meet the winner of the Czech Republic-Japan pairing in the semifinal in September.

Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol won the opening singles matches to defending champion Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over Japan.

Stepanek prevailed over Tatsuma Ito, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, 7-5, before Rosol defeated Taro Daniel, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2.

The Czechs need only a doubles victory on Saturday from the duo of Stepanek and Jiri Vesely or one reverse singles win on Sunday to advance to the semifinals.

Stepanek and Vesely are currently scheduled to meet Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama on Saturday. Rosol and Ito are slated for the first reverse singles match on Sunday, while Stepanek and Daniel are on the docket for a potential fifth rubber.

Meanwhile, Switzerland and Kazakhstan are locked in a 1-1 tie after splitting the first two opening singles.

Roger Federer defeated Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, after Andrey Golubev stunned Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5).

Saturday’s doubles have Federer and Wawrinka taking on a Kazakhstani duo of Evgeny Korolev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov, while Sunday’s reverse singles will pit Wawrinka against Kukushkin and the fourth-ranked Federer versus Golubev.

The winner in Geneva will meet the winner of the Great Britain-Italy pairing in the semifinal.

Italy notched a 1-0 lead over Great Britain after Fabio Fognini defeated James Ward, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Andy Murray was leading Andreas Seppi, 6-4, 5-5, when play was called after 1 hour, 54 minutes for the day due to insufficient light. The match will have to be completed Saturday prior to the scheduled doubles rubber.

On the women’s side, Eugenie Bouchard of Canada took out former champion Jelena Jankovic, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, to advance to the semifinal of the Family Circle Cup.

Bouchard is now 2-1 lifetime against Jankovic, who beat the Canadian in straight sets in the quarterfinals here a year ago.

Andrea Petkovic also advanced after beating No. 9 Lucie Safarova, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1

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