Poland, Estonia and Ukraine became the first three nations to reach the second round of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II when they each won their doubles rubber on Saturday to move into an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Poland and Estonia will now meet each other in April after their one-sided wins. The Poles progressed without dropping a set following a routine victory for world No. 14 ranked doubles pair Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in Warsaw, while the Estonians also advanced without dropping a set in Tallinn.
Ukraine continued their dominance over Monaco in Dnipropetrovsk when world No. 69 Sergiy Stakhovsky teamed up with Denys Molchanov to defeat Guillaume Couillard and Thomas Oger 62 76(3) 64. The victory means that Ukraine march on to meet either Cyprus or Morocco, as their campaign for an immediate return to Group I gathers pace.
Cyprus look on course to book a meeting with Ukraine after taking a 2-1 lead in Limassol. The Marcos Baghdatis factor was once again the difference between the two teams as he partnered Rares Cuzdriorean to victory in the doubles. The former Australian Open runner-up will have the chance to seal the tie when he takes on Yassine Idmbarek on Sunday.
Egypt kept their hopes alive versus Latvia in Cairo by taking the doubles rubber. Trailing 2-0 after day one, the Egyptian pair of Sherif Sabry and Mohamed Safwat gave the home fans something to cheer about when they came from a set down to defeat Andis Juska and Deniss Pavlovs 57 64 63 62. The Latvians, however, rested their top player Ernests Gulbis, ranked No. 71, who will be back in action on Sunday.
The winner of the Egypt-Latvia tie will meet Hungary or Ireland in the second round. The five-set victory for Irish No. 2 James McGee in Friday’s opening rubber seems a long time ago, with Hungary now leading 2-1 after posting a four-set doubles triumph. Adam Kellner and Conor Niland are first up in Sunday's reverse singles rubbers in Szeged.
The remaining two ties saw Bosnia/Herzegovina edge 2-1 ahead of Turkey in Ankara, and Belarus take a 2-1 lead over Moldova in Minsk. Max Mirnyi, ranked No. 3 in the world in doubles, was in action for Belarus as he combined with Alexander Bury to beat Roman Borvanov and Maxim Dubarenco 62 62 64.
The action will come to its conclusion on Sunday.