Fans across Croatia are basking in tennis glory, after their Davis Cup team defeated the United States 3-2 to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Group competition.
Ivan Ljubicic outlasted top American player Andy Roddick in a marathon five-set match (4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-7, 6-2) Sunday, to give the visiting Croatians an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five match series.
Ljubicic's victory was broadcast live on national television and radio. The American team was at full strength, with 34-year-old Andre Agassi lured out of retirement, Andy Roddick back from injury and the doubles team of twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan in top form, having not lost in the Davis Cup in six matches.
Ljubicic was Croatia's hero, beating Agassi in the opening match and partnering with Mario Ancic to overcome the Bryans in doubles before shocking Roddick. Croatia advances to the July quarterfinals where it faces Romania, a 3-2 winner over Belarus.
Earlier, Slovakia shocked defending Davis Cup Tennis champion Spain, 4-1, in their opening round World Group series in Bratislava. Slovakia advances to play the Netherlands, which beat Switzerland 3-2. The Swiss squad suffered from world number one Roger Federer's decision to skip the first round matchup.
In other opening round World Group action, Australia swept Austria, 5-0, to move into the round-of-eight against Argentina, a 5-0 winner over the Czech Republic. Russia also earned a quarterfinal berth with a 4-1 victory over Chile. The Russians will play France, which edged Sweden, 3-2.
Some information for this report provided by AP.