In the absence of Roger Federer Switzerland suffered a 2-3 home defeat against Czech Republic in the first round of Davis Cup 2013.
The Swiss were the first to go in front in Geneva on Friday as 17th ranked Stan Wawrinka outclassed World No. 73 Lukas Rosol in straight sets. He was the first to give away a service game in the match, yet in the end he finished off his opponent with a love hold and won with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 final result.
In the second Friday’s match 289th ranked Swiss youngster Henri Laaksonen was unable to upset Tomas Berdych, although he did prevail in the third set tie-break. The World No. 6 claimed a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-1 victory.
The doubles match would be the turning point of the encounter, and what an epic clash it was. It will go down in history as the second longest tennis match ever played with the players spending seven hours and two minutes on the court of Palexpo arena (only the Isner-Mahmut Wimbledon marathon lasted longer). Berdych and Rosol were leading 2-1 in sets, yet the Swiss forced a deciding set after grabbing the fourth set tie-break. In a three and a half hours long decider Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli wasted a double break ball at 7-7 and then managed to withstand 12 match ball threats by 30-40 in the 46th game of the set – they defended five match point opportunities at 20-20 alone. The thirteenth one has proved to be lucky for the Czechs though as they finally wrapped up the proceedings with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 24-22 end result.
In the first Sunday’s match, Wawrinka needed to beat Berdych to keep Switzerland’s hopes alive, but the best Czech player was up to the task. Wawrinka found himself two sets down, pegged one back, yet he was helpless in the fourth set tie-break. The score: 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5) for Berdych, and the Czechs were through to the second round in World Group.
In the end, Laaksonen’s 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jiri Vesely did little to console the home crowd.