|Posted on September 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM|
16 Sep 2012
Berdych blasts Czechs to the final
By Craig Gabriel (official Davis Cup website)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Czech Republic is through to the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final for the first time since 2009 and for only the second time since they won the title as Czechoslovakia in 1980. It will be a rematch of the 2009 final, where Czech Republic fell to Spain, but this time Czech Republic will play host.
Tomas Berdych, wearing the same shirt he wore at the Olympics because he is “a little superstitious”, gave his nation the unassailable 3-1 lead over the home team, Argentina when he defeated substitute player Carlos Berlocq who replaced the injured Juan Martin del Potro 63 63 64. The match lasted two hours 45 minutes and ended when Berdych struck forehand winner on the line.
“We made it and that was the goal we brought in here, to try the almost impossible and try and win here,” Berdych said. “The whole team had that belief that we could make it. It’s not impossible to win in Argentina as we proved.
“That’s even better to win with such a crazy crowd in probably giving us so much for the future and I’m really excited to be in the final again.”
This result marked the first time that Argentina had lost at Parque Roca and it is the first time they have lost on clay at home since 1998.
“We were definitely not the favourites for the tie but it’s not important every time for my point of view,” Berdych said. “I was feeling really, really well coming from the States, playing the semifinals there beating Roger Federer, playing very close match against the winner of the US Open, Andy Murray, so I was feeling really good.
“I wanted to show it here that my game is on top and I can play well. I did it, won my two singles, made half a point in the doubles and that’s it, what we needed.”
The first set lasted 46 minutes and was crucial for the home team. Berlocq had to get on the board at that stage to give the Argentines a chance. The first seven games went with serve but in the eighth game Berdych broke to 15. Berlocq fought hard to hold serve as he faced the two break points but the Czech’s greater experience in Davis Cup saw him rise to the occasion.
On his first set point Berdych sent a return to Berlocq’s backhand and the Argentine produced an unforced error to surrender the set.
Berdych faced some pressure in the second game of the second set when he had to save three break points but when Berlocq was unable to convert any of them he appeared vulnerable. In the following game the Czech player pounced, breaking without much effort, sealing things with a backhand passing shot.
Berlocq did threaten to break serve on one more occasion in the set but Berdych remained too strong mentally and he rode out the mini crisis. The pressure was certainly on the local player and having a sporting legend like Diego Maradona also trying to encourage you probably made him feel all the more nervous.
The Czech No. 1 created three break points at 0-40 and broke again to 15 as Berlocq continued to try desperately to keep the home team alive. Berdych rifled a forehand cross court winner and you could see that any wind that might have been left in Berlocq’s sails had now left. The Czech’s were lead two sets to love up.
In the third set Berdych opened up a 4-1 lead but suddenly Berlocq found a second wind and broke the Czech as the crowd, lead feverishly by Maradona, went crazy. The noise was ear-piercing and with the crowd singing with one voice it was mesmerizing to watch as the flags of Argentina and the Czech Republic were caught by the strong breezes.
The set was levelled at 4-4 but then Berdych held for 5-4. He went up 0-40 on Berlocq’s serve before closing out the match to 15. It took Berdych a few seconds to realise he had won and then he raised his arms in victory.
“It was a really tough crowd and it was tough with the windy conditions,” Berdych said. “It didn’t help for the match but it was the same for both of us, actually not the crowd, but I was dealing with it much better. I made it in three sets and now we can go and celebrate.”
World No. 6 Tomas Berdych won three points for Czech Republic against Argentina
DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP SEMI-FINALS 2012
Berdych Propels Czechs Into Final Versus Spain
by ATP Staff | 16.09.2012
ARGENTINA 1, CZECH REPUBLIC 3
Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay – outdoor)
Czech Republic set up a home Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final tie versus defending champion Spain from 16-18 November. It will be a repeat of the 2009 final.
Tomas Berdych won Czech Republic the tie-winning point versus Argentina on Sunday after he defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 45 minutes at Buenos Aires. Berlocq replaced Juan Martin del Potro, who withdrew prior to the rubber due to a wrist injury.
Berdych beat Juan Monaco 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in just over four hours on Friday before teaming up with Radek Stepanek for a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank on Saturday.
Argentina had been looking to reach its fifth Davis Cup final.
Hero of the Day! Tomas Berdych defeated Argentina's Carlos Berlocq, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4, Sunday to lift Czech Republic to the Davis Cup final against defending champion Spain.
Watch highlights of the fourth rubber from the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal in Buenos Aires. Tomas Berdych (CZE) defeated Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 63 63 64 to put Czech Republic into an unassailable 3-1 lead. Czech Republic will now host Spain in the Final on 16-18 November.
"This is going to be the highlight of my career up until now," ... "It is going to be very difficult playing against Spain, the champion, but at least we are lucky to be playing at home."
Berdych steers Czechs into final
REUTERS | 16 September 2012
World No.6 Tomas Berdych completed a clean sweep of wins against Argentina on Sunday to lead Czech Republic into the Davis Cup final against holders Spain.
Berdych, having won his opening singles on Friday and the doubles with Radek Stepanek on Saturday, gave the Czechs an unassailable 3-1 lead in their semifinal at Parque Roca with a 6-3 6-3 6-4 victory over Carlos Berlocq.
Five-time champions Spain beat the US in their semifinal in Gijon.
"I'm feeling pretty happy, Argentina's 14-year winning streak at home is a long time and we're the ones that ended it," Berdych told reporters.
"There are not many better feelings than this, to win three points in three days and the more so in this place.
"For me, this is the highest I could get in my career and I'm really looking forward to (the final), we'll give our all and it will be good to do that at home."
The Czechs, who lost the 2009 final to Spain in Barcelona, will be at home this time. They have won the trophy once as Czechoslovakia in 1980.
The final will be played on November 16-18.
Berdych said neither side were favorites.
"It's open, it will be very important whether (Spain's Rafa) Nadal plays and is fully fit and what will be the makeup of the Spanish team.
"It will be crucial playing in the Czech Republic where we can choose the surface," he noted.
Argentina's chances of reaching a second consecutive final diminished on Saturday when world No.8 Juan Martin del Potro pulled out of Sunday's first reverse singles against Berdych.
Del Potro, who had surgery in 2010 on his right wrist, aggravated a problem in his left wrist for which his doctor had recommended a fortnight's rest after last week's US Open.
The 2009 US Open champion had won the first point when he beat Stepanek in Friday's opening singles before Berdych fought back from 2-1 down to beat Juan Monaco in five sets.
Berdych was never really in danger against the 45th-ranked Berlocq, who had been picked for his maiden Davis Cup tie at 29 as Eduardo Schwank's doubles partner in the absence of the injured David Nalbandian.
Berdych seemed to have a extra gear in reserve that he could call on if Berlocq managed to turn up the heat, the gear he resorted to when he was 2-1 and 4-1 down in the fourth set to Monaco on Friday.
Berlocq, comfortable on clay, fed on the rowdy home crowd support to trouble Berdych with timely attacks at the net but was more often on the defensive, fully stretched in long rallies in which the Czech moved him from corner to corner.
He prolonged the match in the third set by breaking Berdych in the seventh game but that signaled the end of his brave resistance.
"I know Carlos wants to fight to the last point and was trying to do that but I still believed I was the better player," Berdych said.
"It was kind of the same with Juan Monaco on the first day when he got on top and had the crowd with him and I was able to finish the way I did and that's the difference."