Germans lead as US flop in World Team Cup
Defending champions Germany lead Russia 1-0 in the Blue Group of the World Team Cup in Rome after Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-0 6-2 in Dusseldorf, while the US were beaten by Argentina.
World number four Kohlschreiber needed less than an hour to break serve six times against the Russian, only dropping eight points on serve.
"Today the match was like a treat; it was a top performance throughout the entire match," said Kohlschreiber. "I think it is always very special for the German team.
"We are at home. I think that we always feel a certain pressure compared to other teams. For sure this year’s competition is very strong, but we want to defend our title."
Also in the Blue Group, Serbia’s Viktor Troicki started with a 6-3 7-6(3) win over Croatia’s Ivan Dodig.
In the Red Group, Argentina took a 2-0 lead over the USA - which is enough for victory - thanks to wins for Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer.
Berlocq beat Andy Roddick 6-2 6-2 while Mayer needed almost two and a half hours to beat Ryan Harrison 6-4 5-7 6-3.
"I didn’t play well. He played better than I did," conceded Roddick. "I don’t think you expect to come out after a lay-off and play great. One of the best things about this event for me is that you get matches guaranteed. So I’ll go back to practise and do it again in a couple of days."
Also in the Red Group, Tatsuma Ito gave debutants Japan a 1-0 lead over Czech Republic with a 3-6 6-4 6-4 win over Radek Stepanek.