|Posted on April 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM|
DAVIS CUP 2014
Czech Republic Reaches Davis Cup SFs
World Group, Quarter-finals
by ATP Staff | 05.04.2014 JAPAN 0, CZECH REPUBLIC 3
Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan (hard - indoor)
Two-time defending champion Czech Republic has reached the Davis Cup World Group semi-finals after it took a 3-0 unassailable lead over Japan at the Ariake Coliseum, the venue of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.
Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek defeated Japan’s Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the doubles rubber. The Czech Republic will next play France or Germany in September.
"This was our first Davis Cup doubles together," said Stepanek. "We did well and found our range together. We had it under control from the first set."
Rosol said, "We finished the sets strongly today and are happy to be going to the semi-finals. It's always nice to have more players, but I think Radek and I played really well this weekend."
Tatsuma Ito in action against Radek Stepanek - Japan, Davis Cup runners-up in 1921, are playing their first World Group quarter-final tie.
Radek Stepanek downed Tatsuma Ito 67(5) 76(5) 61 75 in the opening singles match
Lukas Rosol bested the unheralded Taro Daniel 64 64 36 46 62 in the second singles match
Japanese-American Taro Daniel, ranked 190th, in action against Lukas Rosol
Title holders the Czech Republic reached the semi-finals of the Davis Cup after clinically dispatching Japan in Saturday’s doubles to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie. Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol beat Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in front of the Japanese emperor and empress in Tokyo.
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive to watch the Davis Cup quarter-final men's doubles tennis match between Japan's Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama, and Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol in Tokyo April 5, 2014.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan - Marriage and children
On 10 April 1959, Japanese Emperor Akihito married Michiko Shōda (born 20 October 1934), the eldest daughter of Hidesaburo Shōda, the president and later honorary chairman of Nisshin Flour Milling Company. The Emperor and Empress have three children:
- Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan (born 23 February 1960, formerly The Prince Hiro)
- Fumihito, Prince Akishino (born 30 November 1965, former The Prince Aya)
Fumihito, Prince Akishino was presiding the draw ceremony in Tokyo on Thursday
- Sayako, Princess Nori (born 18 April 1969, now titled as Mrs. Sayako Kuroda)
Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attend the doubles match of the Davis Cup World Group quarter-final match between Japan and the Czech Republic in Tokyo, Japan, 05 April 2014.
Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek scored a comprehensive 64 64 64 victory over Japan's Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama in the doubles on Saturday.
The Czech Republic team members celebrate after winning the Day Two's doubles match of the Davis Cup World Group quarter-final match between Japan and the Czech Republic in Tokyo, Japan, 05 April 2014. The Czech Republic secured a spot in the World Group semi-final round after winning the quarter-final match against Japan as they bid for a third straight title.
Czech Republic remains unbeatable
Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek combined to win the doubles and give the two-time defending champions an unassailable 3-0 lead and a place in the semifinals.
Both sides are without their top players. Tomas Berdych is out for the Czechs following two tough tournaments in the United States, while Kei Nishikori sidelined due to an injured groin suffered in a quarterfinal victory over Roger Federer in the Sony Open last week in Miami.
Captain Jaroslav Navratil, Lukas Rosol, Radek Stepanek and other team members of the Czech Republic celebrate after defeating Japan during quarterfinal of Davis Cup World Group tennis at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Saturday, April 5, 2014.
06 April 2014
Czechs complete clean sweep in Japan
TOKYO, JAPAN: The Czech Republic wrapped up its Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarterfinal against Japan on Sunday with two more victories to complete a 5-0 sweep.
Czech No. 1 Lukas Rosol beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 63 36 64 in the first reverse singles three-set dead rubber at Ariake Coliseum. Uchiyama was a substitute for Japan No. 1 Tatsuma Ito.
Jiri Vesely stood in for Czech No. 2 Radek Stepanek and defeated Japan No. 2 Taro Daniel 64 64 in the second match.
Rosol and Stepanek had posted a decisive 64 64 64 victory over Ito and Uchiyama in doubles on Saturday to clinch the tie for the two-time defending champions, who will now advance to a semifinal against the winner of the quarterfinal between Germany and France in the semifinals in September.
Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil emphasised how teamwork and pride helped combine to achieve the victory.
"My players play together and fight for their country," Navratil stated. "It is always an honour to play Davis Cup."
Navratil made no secret of who he would like to see his country play in the semifinals.
"I think it would be better for us to play Germany," he said, adding that his team was "confident it could win a third straight trophy".
Rosol relied on his huge forehand to secure the victory over Uchiyama. The Japanese volleyed well in winning the second set but could not overcome the combination of speed and power that the Czech exhibited.
It was the third match that Rosol had been victorious in, along with his opening singles match and the doubles.
"It was a tough match. It was not easy for me," said Rosol. "I was tired after the first two days."
The world No. 40 summarised the contest succinctly.
"I think I won because I had more experience than him," he said. "He has not played much in the Davis Cup and usually plays doubles."
Uchiyama, who is ranked 268th in singles, acknowledged that there is a significant gap in ability between himself and players in the top 50.
"I tried to show my best and gave everything I had," he said. "This was good for me. I could see the difference in the level of me and and the top players."
Vesely showed a strong serve and took advantage of many unforced errors by Daniel in his straight sets triumph.
The left-handed Vesely said it took time to settle in against Daniel on the final day of the tie.
"I struggled a bit in the first set, but got control of the match in the second," he commented. "Taro plays solid and does not make many mistakes."
Vesely noted that in the past he has felt nervous during Davis Cup matches, but it was different this time around.
"This was my best game ever in the Davis Cup," he said. "I felt calm from the time I arrived in Tokyo."
Daniel, ranked 190th, was upbeat despite the loss.
"I showed that I am capable of competing against the top 100 players, especially from the baseline," he said. "The keys I need to work on are my serve and play on the big points."
Stepanek downed Ito 67(5) 76(5) 61 75 in the first singles match on Friday, while Rosol bested the unheralded Daniel 64 64 36 46 62 in the second.
Both sides were without their top players here. Tomas Berdych was out for the Czechs following two tough tournaments in the United States, while Kei Nishikori was sidelined due to an injured groin suffered in a quarterfinal victory over Roger Federer in the Sony Open last in Miami.
Japan suffered an additional blow on the eve of the tie when the team’s projected No. 1 Go Soeda came down with a fever and was unable to play.
Despite the setback, Japan captain Minoru Ueda is already plotting a course for the future.
"Our goal is to make the semifinals of the Davis Cup," he stated. "It will be tough to do. I find that as the players improve individually, the team will also improve."
Ueda was particulary pleased with the performance of Ito and the 20-year-old Daniel in the tie.
"They both had good experiences here and learned what they have to work on," said Ueda. "It is a good development for the future of our team."
Japan will remain in the World Group in 2015 despite the defeat. The team will learn who its next opponent will be in September, when the draw is held to determine next year's first round ties.
Sunday, April 6, 2014 - First reverse singles: Lukas Rosol def. Yasutaka Uchiyama 63 36 64
Sunday, April 6, 2014 - Second reverse singles: Jiri Vesely def. Taro Daniel 64 64