Sweden, Germany reach semis; Russia leads Belgium
GOTEBORG, Sweden -- After Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson's doubles win Saturday clinched Sweden's win over Argentina to reach the Davis Cup semifinals, Bjorkman won his reverse singles match Sunday against Sebastian Prieto 6-1, 6-2.
Sweden will face the United States in the semifinals in September.
On Saturday, the Swedes rallied from a set down to beat Guillermo Canas and David Nalbandian 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3 on the fast indoor carpet at the Masshallen arena.
Sweden, which won both opening singles matches Friday, will play either the United States or Spain in the semifinals in September. The United States leads 2-0 after winning the first two singles Friday.
Both teams made late changes for the doubles.
Johansson, who beat Nalbandian in the opening singles, replaced rookie Robert Lindstedt on the Swedish team.
"I started a little bit slow, while Jonas played really well all game," said Johansson. "After the second set tie-break we stepped it up a notch, tried to help each other at the net and we were the better team."
After losing the first set on the only break chance they allowed and winning the second set on a 7-4 tiebreak, Sweden coasted the rest of the way behind Johansson's powerful serve and Bjorkman's deft drop shots and volleys at the net.
They broke Nalbandian's serve twice in the third set and once in the fourth, giving Johansson his first Davis Cup doubles victory after three losses.
"Once David started to miss some volleys, we managed to put a lot of pressure on him," Bjorkman said.
Canas, who beat top-ranked Roger Federer in consecutive ATP tournaments last month, replaced Prieto. Canas was not picked for the singles by Argentina captain Alberto Mancini because of a sore left thigh. He appeared to be bothered by the injury at times during the match.
Argentina was a finalist last year after opening with a 5-0 rout of Sweden on clay in Buenos Aires.
Germany vs. Belgium
OSTEND, Belgium -- Germany beat Belgium in doubles Saturday and qualified for the Davis Cup semifinals with an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Alexander Waske and Michael Kohlmann beat Olivier and Christophe Rochus 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, to lead Germany to its first Davis Cup semifinal in 12 years.
Because of Saturday's victory, the reverse singles Sunday won't alter the overall result.
Unlike Germany's glory days almost two decades ago, when Boris Becker and Michael Stich clinched three Davis Cup trophies, the burden is on Tommy Haas, the world's 10th-ranked player, and an allotment of journeymen.
On Friday, Haas rallied to beat an injured Kristof Vliegen 6-7 (4), 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 on the slow clay to give Germany a 1-0 lead. Philipp Kohlschreiber, ranked 60th, defeated Olivier Rochus 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (4).
France vs. Russia
MOSCOW -- Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko beat Sebastien Grosjean and Michael Llodra 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in doubles on Saturday to give Russia a 2-1 lead in the world group quarterfinals.
Before Saturday, no Russian or Soviet pair had won against France in Davis Cup doubles since their first meeting in 1973.
France's Paul-Henri Mathieu had upset world No. 4 Davydenko in the opening singles on Friday before Russia's Mikhail Youzhny leveled the score in a marathon match against Richard Gasquet.
Davydenko replaced Marat Safin for the doubles.
"It was a difficult match," Andreev said. "We put up a fight and the French maybe started getting nervous. We had a few chances and we used them."
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
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