Canada win as Spain crash out

US prevail over Brazil; Serbia advance

Top seeds Spain crashed out of the first round of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2006 when Milos Raonic beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez to give Canada an unassailable 3-1 lead in their World Group tie on Sunday.

The understrength five-times champions had struggled from the start of the tie in Vancouver and Raonic killed them off with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win over Garcia-Lopez to secure Canada's first ever triumph at this level of the men’s team competition.

Holders Czech Republic earlier moved into the quarterfinals with Tomas Berdych outlasting Swiss opponent Stanislas Wawrinka a day after the pair emerged from a marathon doubles encounter.

Berdych enjoyed a comparatively easy 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 victory over Wawrinka, to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-1 lead, a day after he and Lukas Rosol edged a punishing seven-hour clash with Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 24-22 in the final set.

The Czechs will now travel to Kazakhstan in April after the Central Asian country wrapped up a 3-1 victory over Austria on Sunday.

The United States also fended off a fightback from Brazil in Jacksonville to secure a place in the last eight, where they will meet Serbia.

Sam Querrey finished the job with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Thiago Alves in the final rubber after Thomaz Bellucci had tied the contest up at 2-2 by battling past big-serving John Isner 2-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Italy also booked their place in the quarterfinals, where they will meet Canada, after Fabio Fognini beat Croatia's Ivan Dodig in a decisive fifth rubber.

Spain, without Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro, were on the back foot from the start of the tie on the Vancouver hardcourts after going 2-0 down in the opening singles on Friday.

The five-time champions wrestled their way back into the contest after a doubles victory on Saturday but Raonic put paid to any hopes of a remarkable comeback in the first reverse singles on Sunday.

“It's pretty amazing,” Raonic told reporters. “It's something we should all be proud of. It's something I hope resonates not only with our team but throughout tennis in Canada.”

France completed a 5-0 whitewash over Israel having already booked their place in the next round on Saturday along with Serbia and Argentina, who also won all five rubbers against Germany.

Results: US bt Brazil 3-2; Canada bt Spain 3-2; Italy bt Croatia 3-2; 3-Argentina bt Germany 5-0; 2-Czech Republic bt Switzerland 3- 2; 4-Serbia bt Belgium 3-2; Kazakhstan bt Austria 3-1; France bt Israel 5-0.

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