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GB qualify, but Davis Cup champs Argentina must wait
February 6, 2017 / 12:44 AM / 5 months ago

GB qualify, but Davis Cup champs Argentina must wait

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Tennis - Canada v Britain - Davis Cup World Group First Round - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada - 5/2/17. Britain's Kyle Edmund hits a shot during his singles match against Canada's Denis Shapovalov.Chris Wattie

(Reuters) - Britain qualified for the Davis Cup quarter-finals in bizarre circumstances on Sunday but reigning champions Argentina must wait another day to decide the outcome of their tie against Italy following an afternoon of rain delays in Buenos Aires.

Briton Kyle Edmund was two sets to love up and leading 2-1 in the third in the deciding match when his 17-year-old Canadian opponent Denis Shapovalov tried to blast a ball into the stands in a fit of rage.

However, the ball hit umpire Arnaud Gabas straight in the face and although he iced his eye, he was unable to continue and he disqualified Shapovalov.

"It was a strange way to finish," Edmund told the BBC. “I've never been part of something like that."

"On paper I had an advantage but you don't play on paper, you play on a hard court. Anything can happen in the Davis Cup so I'm very pleased."

Defending champions Argentina must wait until Monday for the fifth and final game of their match against Italy. Argentina had trailed 2-0 after the first day but won Sunday’s only rubber to level the scores at 2-2.

Carlos Berlocq beat Paolo Lorenzi 4-6 6-4 6-1 3-6 6-3 in a match twice halted for rain delays. The decider between Guido Pella and Andreas Seppi will take place at 11 AM local time on Monday (3.00 p.m. BST).

“We're still alive, we need the support of everyone for the fifth point tomorrow, free entry after 11," Pella said on Twitter.

Spain and Belgium were the other two teams to qualify for the last eight after Sunday's matches.

Belgium beat Germany for the first time in nine tries thanks to an inspired display from world No. 58 Steve Darcis, who beat Alexander Zverev, ranked 36 places above him, 2-6 6-4 6-4 7-6(8) to clinch an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Spain qualified by winning both their singles rubbers in Croatia.

Roberto Buatista beat Franko Skugor in four sets before Pablo Carreno Busta defeated Nikola Mektic 7-6(4) 6-1 6-4.

Australia, France, the United States and Serbia all qualified on Saturday.

Australia beat the Czech Republic 4-1 after splitting Sunday's reverse singles, while France defeated Japan by the same scoreline after each side won a singles rubber.

The United States won both reverse singles to hammer 2014 winners Switzerland 5-0 and Serbia beat Russia 4-0, with the final match cancelled.

In the quarter-finals, Australia will host the United States, Serbia will play Spain, France face Britain and Belgium will go to either Argentina or Italy.

All ties will be played over the weekend of April 7-9.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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