Czech Republic have made the Davis Cup final for the third time in five years after victory over Argentina on the indoor courts in the O2 Arena in Prague.
The duo of Tomas Berdych (Player Bio) and Radek Stepanek (Player Bio) have been highly trustworthy for the Czechs and they proved why once more with strong performances to give their country a 2-0 lead going into the doubles.
Stepanek hit 13 aces in victory over Juan Monaco (Player Bio) as he improved his record to 5-2 over the Argentinian – four of which have been on indoor courts. The 7-6 6-3 6-2 victory was Stepanek’s 28th in Davis Cup play.
Leonardo Mayer (Player Bio) was given the number two spot surprisingly but proved he was more than capable by taking a set off of Berdych. After falling a set down, Mayer broke Berdych’s serve twice in the second set to tie it up but Berdych raised his level in the third with a dominant serving performance that saw him lose just two points on first serve. A solitary break in both the third and fourth was enough for Berdych to seal a four set victory 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4.
Up 2-0, the doubles team of Berdych and Stepanek could seal it on day three and they did so fairly easily. Stepanek showed why he is one half of the US Open doubles champions with a strong performance alongside Berdych. A single break in the first opened it up for the Czechs while they saved the only break point the team of Carlos Berlocq and Horacio Zeballos had all day. They eased through the next two sets dropping just five and six points on serve respectively to seal the Czech Republic’s place in the finals with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory.
With the tie already decided after day two, both matches were dead rubbers on the third day and allowed the backups to play for the Czechs. Lukas Rosol lost from a set up to Horacio Zeballos 6-4 6-7 4-6 while talented prospect Jiri Vesely lost to Mayer in straight sets 6-4 6-4.
R1 – Radek Stepanek def. Juan Monaco 7-6 6-3 6-2
R2 – Tomas Berdych def. Leonardo Mayer 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-4
R3 – Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek def. Horacio Zeballos/Carlos Berlocq
R4 – Horacio Zeballos def. Lukas Rosol 6-4 6-7 4-6
R5 – Leonardo Mayer def. Jiri Vesely 6-4 6-4