Champion Swiss, Belgians tied after Day 1 in Davis Cup

Liege, Belgium ( – Reigning champion Switzerland and host
Belgium are knotted at 1-1 after Friday’s opening singles action in a best-of-
five opening-round Davis Cup tie.

Things got underway in Liege when 344th-ranked Swiss Henri Laaksonen outlasted
world No. 132 Ruben Bemelmans 1-6, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-0, 6-2, but the Belgians
evened the score when 102nd-ranked Steve Darcis mauled No. 576 Michael Lammer
6-3, 6-1, 6-3 on the indoor hardcourt at Country Hall du Sart Tilman.

Switzerland may be the reigning Davis Cup champ, but 2014 heroes Roger Federer
and Stan Wawrinka are not playing this time around.

Saturday’s doubles has a Swiss duo of Lammer and Adrien Bossel taking on a
Belgian pairing of Bemelmans and Niels Desein, while Sunday’s reverse singles
call for Darcis to tangle with Laaksonen and Bemelmans to battle Lammer.

The Swiss are captained by Severin Luthi, while Belgium is skippered by Johan
Van Herck.

The former world No. 1 great Federer and Wawrinka led the Swiss to their
first-ever Davis Cup title last year when they beat host France 3-1 in the
final, but both men decided against playing in the opening round this year.

Belgium and Switzerland are meeting for an eighth time, with the hosts
looking to advance to the World Group quarterfinals for the first time in
eight years.

The Swiss lead the all-time series between the two sides, 4-3, including a
victory in the most recent encounter in 2008.

The winner in Liege will meet the Canada-Japan victor in July’s quarterfinals.