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Swiss defeat Portugal in Davis Cup tie

Switzerland has qualified for the Davis Cup World Group playoffs after defeating Portugal 5-0 in Bern.

The Swiss wrapped up the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 tie on Sunday with Stanislas Wawrinka defeating Lonardo Tavares 7-6 (7-1), 6-0, and Marco Chiudinelli winning 6-3, 6-4 against Joao Sousa.

Olympic doubles champions in 2008, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, had already assured the Swiss win on Saturday with their doubles win over Tavares and Frederico Gil 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The win win took Switzerland to an unbeatable 3-0 lead.

On Friday, Federer defeated Rui Machado in four sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, while Wawrinka had a comfortable win over Gil in three sets, winning 7-5, 6-4, 6-4.

The tie was played in the Swiss capital, Bern, for the first time in more than 50 years.

Switzerland lost its place in the World Group last year, following a 5-0 defeat by Kazakhstan, in the absence of Federer.

The World Group playoffs will be held in September.

Switzerland has never won the Davis Cup, but was runner up in 1992.

Davis Cup Guide

The Davis Cup is the top international team event in men’s tennis. Current holders are Serbia. The female equivalent is the Fed Cup.

  

To win the Davis Cup you have to be in the top of five “leagues”.

  

This top league is called the

World Group

and is a four-round knock-out competition between 16 countries spread over four weekends during the year. The final is held in December.

Below the World Group is

Group I, Group II, Group III and Group IV. Each of the groups below the World Group is divided into three regional zones:

Americas, Asia/Oceania, Europe/Africa.  

As in other sport leagues, teams in the Davis Cup can be promoted and relegated in so-called playoffs.

  

The eight losers of the first-round World Group matches are sent to the World Group playoff round where they face winners from Group I of the regional zones (four of whom come from Europe/Africa). The playoff round winners play in the World Group for the next year’s tournament, while the losers play in Group I of their respective regional zone.

Switzerland returned to the 2009 World Group after relegation in 2007, but they dropped out again the following year after losing to Kazakhstan.

Their victory against Portugal means they have qualified for the World Group playoff round in September. If they win that, they will be promoted to the World Group and have a shot at the Davis Cup in 2012. If they lose, they will remain in Group I.

  

Switzerland have never won the Davis Cup. They have reached the final once, in 1992, when they lost to the United States.

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swissinfo.ch and agencies


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