Roger Federer wins Davis Cup playoff
AMSTERDAM -- Top-ranked Roger Federer beat Thiemo de Bakker in straight sets and Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Robin Haase to give Switzerland a 2-0 lead Friday over the Netherlands in their Davis Cup World Group playoff.
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Federer overcame wet and windy conditions on a temporary outdoor clay court in Amsterdam to beat the 159th-ranked de Bakker 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
"On the serve, it can play tricks on you," Federer said of the gusty wind. "The ball, after you tossed it, it was moving away from you and you had to adjust the whole time. So to find a way to move the serve was pretty difficult."
Federer said the match probably wouldn't have started on the regular tennis circuit because of the rain, but he played down the conditions.
"It's OK, no problem," he said. "I mean, I'd prefer a sunny day, who wouldn't? But this is a challenge as well."
Federer's doubles partner Wawrinka had a tougher time against Haase, but won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
Federer and Wawrinka, the 2008 Olympic doubles champions, can wrap up the playoff Saturday by beating Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer in the doubles. Reverse singles are scheduled for Sunday.
Czechs even semi vs. Argentina at 1-1
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentina's injured and emotional Juan Martin del Potro beat Radek Stepanek in the opening match, and the Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych evened the Davis Cup semifinal by topping Juan Monaco in the second match Friday.
Del Potro, told by doctors not to play because of an inflamed left wrist, beat Stepanek 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, and then broke down crying as he addressed cheering fans at the outdoor clay-court venue. Stepanek suggested afterward that del Potro might have exaggerated the injury in a bit of gamesmanship.
"In truth, it wasn't easy to play," said the right-handed del Potro as the crowd chanted "Ole, Ole, Ole."
Berdych later rallied to edge Monaco 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, leveling the contest before the doubles Saturday and reverse singles Sunday.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.