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As Expected Djokovic, Berdych win; Davis Cup tied 1-1

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM





DAVIS CUP FINAL 2013


All Square In Belgrade After Wins For Djokovic, Berdych


Belgrade, Serbia


by ATP Staff | 15.11.2013


SERBIA VS CZECH REPUBLIC


Hard - Indoor, Belgrade Arena, Belgrade, Serbia


The Davis Cup final between Serbia and Czech Republic is finely poised at 1-1 going into Saturday’s doubles rubber. World No. 2 Novak Djokovic gave the host nation a 1-0 lead on Friday in Belgrade with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek, before Tomas Berdych levelled the tie with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over World No. 117 Dusan Lajovic.


Djokovic is on a 23-match winning streak, including victory at last week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London (d. Nadal), and is looking to lead Serbia to its second Davis Cup victory, having previously triumphed in 2010 (d. France).


The 26 year old squandered a 5-2 lead in the first set as Stepanek fought back to level. Djokovic quickly regrouped and broke Stepanek to 15 in the 12th game to seal the set, whipping a backhand past the net-rushing Czech.


After saving three break points to hold for a 2-1 lead in the second set, Djokovic reeled off four games in a row to take a commanding lead in the pair’s 10th meeting. He broke Stepanek in the ninth game of the third set before serving out the victory in two hours and 10 minutes.


Djokovic improved to a 25-7 singles record in Davis Cup and is unbeaten this season. “The match started well for both of us,” said the right-hander who has a 9-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Stepanek.


“We both served well. But this surface is slower than the ones I played on in Paris and London. Obviously Radek is a great competitor, especially in this competition. He always plays at his best for his country and I knew that. So I tried to be aggressive, be in the court and mix up the pace. The first set was very close. After that set, I managed to feel better on the court.”


Czech Republic is the defending Davis Cup champion, having beaten Spain in the 2012 final and is seeking its third victory in the ITF men’s team competition. Berdych gave the visiting nation a foothold in the tie as he defeated the resilient Lajovic on his live rubber debut in one hour and 54 minutes.


The Czech was tested by the 23-year-old Lajovic, but despite facing 0/30 five times, never had to save a break point. He broke Lajovic in the eighth game of the first set with a backhand return winner and a break at 2-2 in the second set gave the Czech a commanding lead. Berdych broke at the start of the third set and sealed victory with a break in the final game.


“Experience was very important,” said Berdych, who claimed his 26th Davis Cup singles win. “It's always very tough when you play a player you've never played before on an occasion like today, in a Davis Cup final. Everybody expects you to get the point and the other guy has nothing to lose. It was not an easy match, and I'm very happy that I was very solid throughout all the three sets.”






 

 




Tomas Berdych serves the ball to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013














Tomas Berdych returns the ball to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013.














Tomas Berdych returns the ball to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013.














Tomas Berdych returns the ball to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013.














Tomas Berdych returns the ball to Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013.














Tomas Berdych celebrates victory against Dusan Lajovic during day one of the final Davis Cup match between Serbia and Czech Republic on November 15, 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia.














Tomas Berdych celebrates with his teammates victory against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013.














Tomas Berdych signs autographs for fans after his victory over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic during the Davis Cup final between Serbia and the Czech Republic at the Kombank Arena in Belgrade on November 15, 2013.













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