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Czechs take Davis Cup lead over Serbs

8:28 AM, Apr 7, 2012   |    comments
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Prague, Czech Republic (Sports Network) - Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek put the Czech Republic on the verge of a Davis Cup quarterfinal win over Serbia after a doubles victory on Saturday.

Berdych and Stepanek both played singles on Friday and were not originally the scheduled doubles tandem, but captain Jaroslav Navratil decided to slide the duo into action and they responded with a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) triumph over the Serbian team of Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac.

The dominating victory, one in which Berdych and Stepanek captured five straight games during the second set, gave the duo a 10-1 mark in Davis Cup doubles.

Berdych, who ripped through Viktor Troicki in a 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 rout for the first point in Friday's opening singles, will have the first chance to wrap up the best-of-five tie for the Czechs in Sunday's reverse singles. He'll take on Janko Tipsarevic, who squared the series on Friday with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 triumph over Stepanek in a match that lasted more than five hours.

Should Tipsarevic win again, the fifth rubber is currently scheduled to feature Stepanek against Troicki.

Serbia, which beat the Czechs in the semifinals two years ago en route to its only Davis Cup crown, is playing this weekend without world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who also skipped the opening-round series against Sweden in February.

The winner will take on the Argentina-Croatia victor in a semifinal in September.

The Sports Network

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