|Posted on July 12, 2009 at 12:43 PM|
Czech Republic 2 Argentina 2
The quarter-final clash between the Czech Republic and Argentina will go down to a deciding fifth rubber after World No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro dismissed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to level the tie at 2-2 in Ostrava Sunday.
A clinical performance from del Potro saw the Tandil native strike 41 winners to just 15 unforced errors and convert four of six break point chances to end Berdych's challenge in two hours and three minutes.
The 20-year-old del Potro, who also accounted for Ivo Minar in straight sets on Friday to level the tie after Berdych had defeated Juan Monaco, improved to a 6-2 record in Davis Cup singles play. The Czech Republic had regained its lead in the tie with victory for Berdych and Radek Stepanek in the doubles rubber Saturday.
Stepanek has been selected in place of Ivo Minar by the Czech Republic to face Juan Monaco in the fifth rubber.
The Czech Republic, winner of the Davis Cup in 1980 (d. Italy), is bidding to reach its first World Group semi-final since 1996 - when it lost to Sweden 4-1. Three-time runner-up Argentina is looking to reach the semi-finals for the second straight year; last year the South American nation went on to make the final - losing to Spain in the final in Mar del Plata, the first time it had lost a home tie since 1998.
Juan Martin del Potro levelled the tie for Argentina when he beat Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-4 6-4.
"I did everything. I did very good serves and returns and I was feeling very well," Del Porto said.
"I really expected a very difficult match," Berdych said.
"I wanted to try something and break his rhythm but I did not make it. He played an outstanding game," he added.
With so much at stake on the final match, Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil opted to replace Ivo Minar in the final match with Radek Stepanek even though the world No. 21 has been struggling with a knee problem. Stepanek had missed Friday's singles rubber due to the injury.
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic reacts during his Davis Cup quarterfinal tennis match
against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in Ostrava on Sunday, July 12, 2009