Roger Federer guided Switzerland into the Davis Cup world group on Sunday while Andy Murray was unable to stop Britain tumbling further down among the outsiders.
With Spain and the Czech Republic already assured of meeting in this year’s final, Sunday’s play in Murcia and the Croatian town of Porec didn’t affect the overall result.
Spain eventually beat Israel 4-1 and the Czechs beat the Croats by the same score after Sunday’s meaningless reverse singles and that meant the focus was more on teams trying to climb the ladder of men’s team tennis or avoiding another fall.
With Switzerland facing Italy for a place in the world group, top-ranked Federer kept his focus through a two-hour rain delay in Genoa before completing a 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 victory, which gave his side an unbeatable 3-1 lead.
“It was a tough weekend for us and I’m happy I could help Switzerland win,” Federer said. “I was able to play very well.
“I have to go on holiday badly. I have a problem with my leg, I have a problem with my arm - everything is hurting.”
Fabio Fognini of Italy beat Michael Lammer 7-5, 7-6 (4) in the final singles match to make the final score 3-2.
Murray has a problem with his left wrist although it was the lack of a strong playing partner against Poland that sent Britain down to the third tier of the competition - Europe/Africa Zone Group II - for the first time since 1996.
Murray won his match 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 against Polish teenager Jerzy Janowicz to make it 2-2 in Liverpool. But Poland won the match 3-2 after Michal Przysiezny outplayed Dan Evans 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 and that meant the Poles stay in Group 1, one level below the world group.
Belgium reached the world group by beating Ukraine 3-2, France outplayed the Netherlands 4-1 and India beat South Africa 4-1 and Sweden edged Romania 3-2.
Serbia was already sure of winning its place after leading Uzbekistan 3-0 after Saturday’s doubles and wound up 5-0 winners after Sunday’s singles. Chile leads Austria 2-1 and Ecuador is 2-1 over Brazil going into Sunday’s play.