Davis Cup: Belgium, US in quarterfinals

Belgium eased to a 4-1 victory over Germany to book its quarterfinal berth.

Steve Darcis won a hard-fought four-set singles rubber to put Belgium in the quarterfinals.   -  AP

Steve Darcis knocked off German teenager Alexander Zverev in four sets in Sunday's reverse singles to send Belgium into the Davis Cup quarterfinals and a potential showdown with holder Argentina.

Darcis, who famously dumped Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon in 2013, dropped the first set to 19-year-old Zverev before rallying for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) win to hand Belgium an unassailable 3-1 lead in Frankfurt.

The Belgians were playing without World No. 11 David Goffin, who skipped the tie in order to recover from his run to the quarterfinals at last month's Australian Open.

Belgium, the 2015 runner-up, will take on the winner of the clash between defending champion Argentina and Italy for a place in the last four in April.

Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson won dead singles rubbers Sunday to complete a 5-0 sweep for the United States over Switzerland in its first-round Davis Cup tie at Birmingham, Alabama.

Querrey downed Adrien Bossel 6-3, 7-5 while Johnson, who joined Jack Sock in taking a tie-clinching doubles victory Saturday, defeated Antoine Bellier 6-4, 6-3 as reserves took the court with the overall outcome not in doubt.

Singles victories Friday by Sock and John Isner combined with the doubles win had sealed Switzerland's fate.

The Americans advanced to a quarterfinal matchup April 7-9 at Australia, which dispatched the Czech Republic 4-1 in another World Group first-round tie.

Meanwhile France captain Yannick Noah said his team could go on to lift the Davis Cup after wrapping up a 4-1 first-round victory over Japan in Tokyo.

The nine-time winners entered the final day with an insurmountable 3-0 advantage, and doubles specialist Nicolas Mahut took the first set off Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 before a wrist injury ended the Japanese player's hopes of a comeback.

However, Yasutaka Uchiyama earned the host a consolation point with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the other half of the world's top-ranked doubles pair.

"If all my players are ready then we have the possibility to go all the way," said Noah, a Davis Cup runner-up in 1982.

"That's what we should aim for -- to win the whole thing," added the former French Open champion. "But to do that we have to be at 100 percent in the next three ties."

France will take on Canada or Great Britain next.

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