Defending champions Czech Republic are the first team to advance to World Group Finals. With a 2-0 lead in the Davis Cup tie, Czech Republic sent out their powerhouses Tomas Berdych (Profile) and Radek Stepanek (Profile) to play doubles action to conclude their Davis Cup semifinal tie in the second day of action. The team replaced the original doubles team of Luaks Rosol and Jiri Vesely and eventually clinched the tie for their country with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win.
Under the bright lights of the Prague O2 Arena, Berdych and Stepanek secured a 2-0 lead for Czech Republic in the opening two rubbers with wins over Leonardo Mayer and Juan Monaco respectively. The Czech pairing have only lost one Davis Cup rubber since their original partnering in 2007 – a testament to their dependability. It was a broad contrast with the Argentinian duo of Carlos Berlocq (Profile) and Horacio Zeballos (Profile), who had never played together prior to this Davis Cup tie.
The opening set was competitive for the first six games. Berlocq and Zeballos held their ground on hostile territory yet the reliable Czech duo broke for a 4-3 lead and served out the opening set 6-3 in 41 minutes. The Argentines needed to win the following three sets keep their hopes in the Davis Cup tie alive.
The second set remained on serve for the eight consecutive games and while Berdych and Stepanek threatened with several break point opportunities, the Argentine duo held their nerve and maintained an equal footing with the Czech stars. It wasn’t meant to be as the defending champions once again broke the South American nation to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Czech duo broke early in the third set and cruised through the remainder of the match, ultimately taking a perfect 3-0 lead in the tie to advance to their second consecutive Davis Cup Final. It was a dominant effort as the duo hit 42 winners with just 12 unforced errors in their straight sets win.
Following the match, Stepanek and Berdych applauded the delighted Prague crowd for their extraordinary effort.
“It’s definitely very exciting.” Stepanek said following the win. “The Davis Cup means a lot to me. It’s special for the whole country. We would like to keep the trophy because it’s beautiful.”
Now officially the first team in Davis Cup final, Czech Republic will be aiming to win back-to-back titles for the first time since Spain in 2008-09 when they face either Serbia or Canada on November 15-17.