Jittery organisers close doors to fans

LONDON - Croatia and Argentina reached the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Saturday, winning in doubles to take unassailable 3-0 leads over Chile and Netherlands respectively.

More than 6000 demonstrators protested against Israel's presence in the competition in the Swedish city of Malmo, where players complained about the lack of atmosphere in a hall closed to the public by worried authorities.

Seven times champions Sweden took a 2-1 lead over Israel with doubles victory for Robert Lindstedt and Simon Aspelin over Andy Ram and Amir Hadad.

Champions Spain were able to start their first-round tie in the seaside resort of Benidorm, where high winds had damaged the purpose-built stands and prevented play on Friday.

On a long day by the Mediterranean, Spain went 2-1 up against Serbia when world number one Rafael Nadal lost just three games against Janko Tipsarevic and David Ferrer upset erratic world number three Novak Djokovic 6-3 6-3 7-6.

Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimonjic kept Serbia's hopes alive beating Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez in straight sets in the doubles.

Tipsarevic complained about the clay court, describing it as "more like a beach", while Djokovic said he had not played on the slow surface since last year's French Open, adding: "I just felt like I was on foreign territory today and made a lot of unforced errors."

Israel's Ram was also unhappy at the authorities' decision to only allow about 400 journalists, sponsors and guests: "It's a stupid decision. It's terrible for both teams. We like to perform in front of the crowds, not in front of empty seats."

Mario Ancic and Marin Cilic teamed up to beat Chile's Nicolas Massu and Paul Capdeville 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4 and put Croatia into July's world group quarter-finals.

"We were the pre-match favourites but sometimes the hardest tie to win is the one where victory is almost chalked up in advance, so we did a good job here," said Ancic. - Reuter