Russia and Germany all even after day one

MOSCOW, Sep 21 (Reuters) Holders Russia and Germany were level after the first day of their Davis Cup semi-final following a pair of unexpected results today.

Philipp Kohlschreiber upset world number four Nikolay Davydenko 6-7 6-2 6-2 4-6 7-5 to bring the visitors level at 1-1 after Igor Andreev trounced Germany's number one Tommy Haas 6-2 6-2 6-2 in the opening rubber to out the home team ahead.

Davydenko looked down and out on the Moscow clay at the Olympic sports complex after losing the second and third sets but battled back to take the fourth and then broke in the fifth game of the decider.

The Russian led 4-2 and held three break points for a 5-2 lead but this time Kohlschreiber performed the heroics. The 32nd-ranked German broke back, then earned the decisive break in the 12th game to finally prevail after four hours 23 minutes.

''It's just great, it's a fantastic feeling,'' said Kohlschreiber, who had only ever played three five-set matches winning one in the first round of this year's French Open.

''I wasn't thinking about how many five setters I've played, I was just trying to win this one,'' he added.

TURNING POINT Davydenko believes losing the seventh game of the final set was the turning point.

''I led 4-2 and could have made it 5-2,'' he said. ''I had an easy ball on break point but he just hit the line. That was it.

After I squandered that game I had a feeling it just wan't my day.'' The Russians were missing former world number one Marat Safin through injury and captain Shamil Tarpishchev turned to claycourt specialist Andreev instead of selecting the higher-ranked Mikail Youzhny or Dmitry Tursunov.

Andreev, who reached the French Open quarter-finals this year, repaid his captain with a great display of power tennis.

He broke Haas three times in his first four service games to secure the opening set in 33 minutes.

The pattern continued in the second, with Haas losing his serve in the third, fifth and seventh games to hand the 37th-ranked Russian a two-set lead.

Andreev broke the world number 11 twice more in the third set to record an emphatic victory after just over two hours.

''I expected it to be a bit tougher to be honest,'' said the 24-year-old Muscovite, who has battled back to the top of his game following a serious knee injury in April 2006.

Haas, who has also had to overcome a series of injuries, including breaks to both ankles, in the last two years, was disappointed with his poor start to the match.

''I didn't get a good start and it was hard for me to get back in the match,'' said the German.


Story first published: Saturday, September 22, 2007, 0:03 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 22, 2007
Please Wait while comments are loading...