NOVI SAD, Serbia (AP) — Switzerland won the Davis Cup first-round tie against Serbia after Marco Chiudinelli and Michael Lammer beat Nenad Zimonjic and Filip Krajinovic in doubles for an unbeatable 3-0 lead on Saturday.
Switzerland faces Belgium or Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals in April. Serbia dropped into the World Group playoffs in September.
A confident Chiudinelli and Lammer defeated veteran doubles player Zimonjic and young Krajinovic 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2. The Serb pair fought hard and appeared even, forcing a tiebreak in the first set and winning the second.
But Zimonjic and Krajinovic failed to convert two break points at 5-5 in the third set, allowing the Swiss to regain confidence and cruise to victory in the fourth set.
“We wanted to get the three points, we have the victory already on Saturday,” Lammer said. “We are in the quarterfinals for the first time in a long time, which is very exciting for Switzerland.”
Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said: “Our guys did their best, but didn’t have luck.”
On Friday, Swiss stars Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka won the opening singles. Federer was making his first Davis Cup appearance since 2012.
Serbia, last year’s finalist, was playing without its three top players, Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki.
The second-ranked Djokovic decided to rest after losing to Wawrinka in the Australian Open quarterfinals, while Tipsarevic was nursing a heel injury and Troicki was serving a 12-month doping ban for failing to appear at a test. That meant 102nd-ranked Dusan Lajovic was Serbia’s highest-ranked team member.
Coach Obradovic said he hoped the top players will be back next year.
“All that is left is to reorganize and fight to stay in the World Group,” he said.