Argentina, Croatia into Davis Cup quarters

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Argentina and Croatia eased into the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Saturday while violent protests outside the venue marred Sweden's match against Israel.

Updated: March 08, 2009 12:05 IST
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Argentina and Croatia eased into the Davis Cup quarter-finals on Saturday while violent protests outside the venue marred Sweden's World Group match against Israel.

Spain led Serbia 2-1 on a day when all three matches were played on Saturday after gales wiped out Friday's play in Benidorm, while Sweden edged ahead of Israel by winning the doubles. The Czech Republic moved 2-1 up on France, Romania trimmed Russia's lead to 2-1 and Germany won the doubles to open up an advantage over Austria.

Argentina's Martin Vasallo Arguello and Lucas Arnold beat Jesse Huta Galung and Rogier Wassen 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 in Saturday's doubles to open up an unbeatable 3-0 lead in Buenos Aires and guarantee a place in the World Group for the ninth straight year.

After winning both singles on Friday, Croatia's Mario Ancic and Marin Cilic teamed up in the doubles to beat Chile's Nicolas Massu and Paul Capdeville 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on home soil in Porec.

After David Ferrer outplayed Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (4) on clay at Terra Mitica amusement park, Rafael Nadal dropped only three games against Janko Tipsarevic, breaking his serve seven times and winning 6-1, 6-0, 6-2.

That meant Spain had the rare chance to win the match in one day. But Nenad Zimonjic and Viktor Troicki hit back with a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (7) doubles victory over Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez.

Sweden edged ahead of Israel 2-1 in a near empty arena in Malmo when Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt beat Andy Ram and Amir Hadad 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 as police clashed with anti-Israel demonstrators outside.

Only about 300 special guests watched the five-match series at the 4,000-seat Baltic Hall. Malmo officials had closed the venue to the public, citing security risks. The protesters condemned Israel's recent offensive in Gaza and urged support for Palestinians

It was the second time a Davis Cup tie was played without fans in Sweden. In 1975, two years after a military coup in Chile led by Augusto Pinochet, Sweden played Chile in an empty stadium.

In other World Group matches the Czech Republic moved 2-1 up against France in Ostrava when Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek beat Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

But Romania avoided a swift Russian victory at home when Marius Copil and Horia Tecau came from two sets down to upset Marat Safin and Dmitry Tursunov 4-6, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-4.

After Friday's singles were split, Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber and Nicolas Kiefer put their team 2-1 ahead with a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-4 over Austria's Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya.

Powerhouse doubles team Bob and Mike Bryan beat Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) to give the United States a 2-1 lead over Switzerland.

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