|Posted on September 19, 2009 at 2:12 PM|
Berdych and Stepanek are unbeaten together in Davis Cup doubles action (5-0)
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas
Czech Marathon Men Clinch Final Spot
Porec, Croatia by ATP Staff | 19.09.2009
CROATIA 0 CZECH REPUBLIC 3
Sportska dvorana, Porec (clay - indoors)
Despite playing for nearly 10 hours between them on Friday, Czech duo Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek returned in Saturday's doubles to clinch a place in the Davis Cup final for the visiting nation by defeating Croatians Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 in Porec.
The Czech Republic is through to the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1980, when it won the title for the only time with victory over Italy. It had also reached the final five years earlier, losing out to Sweden.
After defeating nine-time champion France and three-time runner-up Argentina to reach the semi-finals, the Czech Republic gave itself a strong chance of advancing to its third final after marathon efforts from Berdych and Stepanek in the first two singles rubbers Friday.
Stepanek had defied a record 78 aces and saved four match points as he edged Ivo Karlovic 16-14 in the final set after five hours and 59 minutes, before Berdych battled past Marin Cilic in a three-hour, 48-minute five-set clash.
Despite their exertions, though, Berdych and Stepanek took the places of Lukas Dlouhy and Jan Hajek Saturday and broke serve five times to earn an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie after two hours and 16 minutes. The Czechs saved both break points they faced in the encounter and hit 64 winners to just 11 unforced errors.
Berdych and Stepanek are unbeaten together in Davis Cup doubles action and improved to a 5-0 record. They have won all three of the Czech Republic's doubles rubbers this year.
Croatia, which had defeated the United States to reach the semi-finals for just the second time, was bidding to advance to the final for the second time in five years. In 2005, Croatia became the 12th nation to win the Davis Cup, defeating the Slovak Republic in the final.
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek showed no ill effects of their long five-set matches on Friday
as they cruised to a 6-1 6-3 6-4 victory over Croatian pair.
champagne for the champ!
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