|Posted on February 11, 2012 at 3:00 PM|
Czech Republic have an unassailable 3-0 lead over Italy
Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) beat Daniele Bracciali/Potito Starace (Italy) 6-3 6-4 6-2
Played on Friday, February 10, 2012
Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) beat Simone Bolelli (Italy) 6-3 4-6 7-5 6-2
Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) beat Andreas Seppi (Italy) 4-6 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-3
Czechs cruise into quarterfinals
11 Feb 2012 | by Lee Goodall
OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil can start planning for a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarterfinal after his leading lights, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, put the hosts into an unassailable 3-0 lead over visitors Italy in Ostrava on Saturday afternoon.
After thrilling the locals packed into the CEZ Arena with crucial singles victories 24 hours earlier, Berdych and Stepanek produced a masterful doubles display, outplaying Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali to complete a 63 64 62 victory that lasted two minutes short of two hours.
Navratil had initially nominated youngster Lukas Rosol and doubles specialist Frantisek Cermak to go in search of a third point, but after only a few minutes of Saturday’s doubles it was clear why the Czech captain had sent out his big guns to finish the job.
Berdych was dominant in all departments, producing easy power from all areas of the court, while Stepanek, recently crowned Australian Open doubles champion alongside India’s Leander Paes, produced some wonderful touches, angles and changes of pace. It was obvious to see why the duo have lost just once together in Davis Cup competition. This was their ninth victory in ten outings.
Their reward is a quarterfinal tie, most likely with 2010 champions Serbia, who lead Sweden 2-1 on Saturday night, while Italy must now win a World Group play-off in September to retain their position among the elite 16 nations in the world.
The Czechs wasted no time in stamping their authority on the contest, shellshocking the Italians by taking Starace’s serve on their way to a 3-0 first set lead. The visitors held two break points with Stepanek serving at 3-1, but once they had slipped away the remainder of the 39-minute opener was never in doubt as the Czechs surged in front.
Again, it was an early break of serve that put the Italians on the back foot in the next set. Bracciali was serving at 40-0 in the third game, but moments later the Czechs somehow had the break and he and Starace were sitting down trailing 2-1. Although Corrado Barazzutti’s men managed to hang onto their serves for the remainder of the set, in truth they never threatened to get back on level terms, failing to carve out a single break point.
The third set was a similar story too. When Bracciali lost his serve in the opening game of the set, there was no way back for the Italians. The Czechs secured the comfort of a double break later in the set and after Stepanek had served out the match when he stepped up to the line at 5-2 the celebrations could begin.
“We’re happy that we were able to finish the match in three sets,” said Stepanek. “We broke them in the first game and put them under a lot of pressure from the start.”
Berdych added: “We’ve played enough matches to know each other well on court - where the other guy’s moving, what he’s doing - so that’s a big advantage. We’re both singles players and we can bring our best games to the [doubles] court.”
After watching yet another dominant display from his two highest ranked players, Czech captain Navratil was oozing pride. “The doubles was pretty easy,” he said. “My guys were playing very good tennis. For Starace, this surface is very difficult for him - too fast. I think [Berdych and Stepanek] are one of the best doubles teams in Davis Cup right now.”
All Italian captain Barazzutti could do was to concede the better team had won. “Berdych and Stepanek played very, very good,” he said. “I’m maybe a bit disappointed in my team because I thought they could play a lot better than they did today. But the Czech Republic deserved their victory.”
ATP World Tour + Davis Cup site Homepage of Saturday, February 11, 2012
Czech Republic through to next round
The Czechs had the advantage playing in front of the home crowd in Ostrava as they eliminated Italy after two singles and one doubles match.
First Radek Stepanek had to fight hard against Andreas Seppi, but he came out victorious at the end, winning 4-6 6-4 6-3 3-6 6-3.
Tomas Berdych then gave the Czechs a comfortable 2-0 lead, defeating Simone Bolelli 6-3 4-6 7-5 6-2. Berdych has had a good start to this season, having just won the title in Montpellier last week.
There was little doubt that the Czech team will finish the job and move into the third round. They have not dissapointed their crowd as Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek stormed to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace.
Radek Stepanek and his teammate Tomas Berdych smile as they play against Italian tennis players Potito Starace and Daniele Bracciali (unseen) during their match in first round World group of Davis Cup at the Ostrava's Cez Arena on February 11 2012, in North Moravia.
CZECH REPUBLIC 3, ITALY 0
Hard, Indoors - Ostrava, Czech Republic
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek followed up their singles victories on Friday by joining forces to dismiss Daniele Bracciali and Potito Starace 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to lock up the first-round tie for the Czech Republic over Italy 3-0. The Czechs saved all four break points they faced in the one hour and 58 minute victory.
Host Czechs whip Italians 4-1 in Davis Cup
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Ostrava, Czech Republic (Sports Network) - The host Czech Republic advanced to the Davis Cup quarterfinals with an easy 4-1 victory over Italy this week.
The Czechs had already clinched the best-of-five tie with a doubles victory in Ostrava on Saturday, which gave them an unassailable 3-0 lead. On Sunday, a pair of dead rubbers saw Czech Lukas Rosol overcome Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and Italian Simone Bolelli top Frantisek Cermak 6-4, 6-4 on the indoor hardcourt at CEZ Arena.
The Czech Republic, captained by Jaroslav Navratil, will face 2010 Davis Cup champion Serbia in April.
Friday's opening singles rubbers featured Czech victories for Radek Stepanek and 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych, and Stepanek and Berdych then followed up their singles victories from Day 1 with a doubles triumph on Saturday.
The Czechs are to 8-3 all-time against Italy, which captured its lone Davis Cup title in 1976. The former Czechoslovakia was the champion in this prestigious international event back in 1980.