|Posted on September 15, 2012 at 6:20 PM|
Tomas Berdych/Radek Stepanek and Carlos Berlocq/Eduardo Schwank poses for the photo before the match between Argentina and Czech Republic as part of the second day of the Davis Cup Semi-final at Mary Teran de Weiss Stadium, commonly known as Parque Roca, on Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
15 Sep 2012
Czechs move closer to Final spot
By Craig Gabriel (official Davis Cup website)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Czech Republic have put themselves into the driving seat in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal against Argentina by taking a 2-1 lead following the doubles rubber.
Coming into the second day, the tie was locked at 1-1 after the first day’s singles but the Czechs, with what has turned into a two man team with Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, defeated Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank 63 64 63 in 2 hours 37 minutes.
“The scoreline says it was comfortable but as you can see the first set was like an hour,” Stepanek said. “The guys came pumped up to the match, it was Carlos’s premier Davis Cup and in front of such a crowd, you come almost over motivated, but we concentrated on our half of the court. We knew what we have between each other in Davis Cup doubles and I think we proved it from the beginning to the last point.”
Berdych and Stepanek replaced the originally nominated Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol, something everyone expected their captain Jaroslav Navratil to do, and it certainly paid dividends. They went on the attack from the first game and kept the pressure on Berlocq and Schwank, who are all but a scratch pairing.
The two pairs played some incredibly long games early in the match. The third game was especially long, it lasted about 20 minutes and when the Czechs broke Berlocq in that game there was a sense it could have been a deciding factor even at that early stage.
Certainly with the crowd’s very noisy encouragement the home tandem were trying to make inroads but it was to no avail as Berdych and Stepanek kept coming up with answers. The Czech fans, which numbers about 120 with their vuvuzelas, were adding to the noise and atmosphere and on some occasions, albeit rarely, even drowned out the drums, bells and whistles of the Argentines.
“It’s very loud in here and we knew that when we were coming to this place,” Stepanek said. “It was always going to be like that so we concentrated only on our half of the court. We said before the match, we play the match together and we are partners and stick together all the way no matter what. That’s all we did and we are very pleased with our performance.”
In the third set, the Czechs broke Berlocq’s serve in the second game and after Stepanek survived break points on his serve in the third game, the visitors opened up a 3-0 lead. The Argentines got one break back and at 5-3 with Berdych serving for the match, the locals worked on applying some additional pressure.
Berdych struggled a bit in that game. He hadn’t been threatened on his serve the whole match and here he was, serving for a 2-1 series lead and he just couldn’t finish things off. Eventually, with Stepanek’s help, it came together and they were able to clinch the victory.
The Czech fans unfurled a massive Czech flag and their noise levels went up by what seemed like 100 decibels.
“If the whole match is like that, I wasn’t even at 30-30 on my serve so it has to come at least once,” Berdych said. “It came, I finished it up, I didn’t lose serve, Radek helped me a lot and that what it’s all about and we made it.”
In the reverse singles, Berdych plays
Juan Martin del PotroCarlos Berlocq first and then Stepanek faces Juan Monaco.
“There is a really tough one especially after these two days but that’s how it is,” Berdych said. “I’ve won my two matches. I’m confident. I’m feeling good so I have nothing to lose. He’s the one who has all the pressure on himself. I’m just going to go there and try my best and we see.”
Berdych, Stepanek beat Argentina in doubles
ATP Homepage of Saturday, September 15, 2012
DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP SEMI-FINALS 2012
Berdych/Stepanek Put Czechs In Front Of Argentina
by ATP Staff | 15.09.2012
ARGENTINA 1, CZECH REPUBLIC 2
Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay – outdoor)
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek improved to 3-0 in doubles rubbers this year on Saturday, defeating Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to put the Czech Republic in front of Argentina 2-1 in their Davis Cup semi-final tie in Buenos Aires.
Berdych and Stepanek won 74 per cent of their first serve points and broke the Argentines six times to wrap up victory in two hours and 37 minutes. The Czechs have won all nine sets they’ve played in their three Davis Cup matches together in 2012.
“It’s very loud in here and we knew that when we were coming to this place,” said Stepanek. “It was always going to be like that so we concentrated only on our half of the court. We said before the match, we play the match together and we are partners and stick together all the way no matter what. That’s all we did and we are very pleased with our performance.”
The Czech Republic is looking to get back to the final for the second time in four years, having finished runner-up to Spain in 2009. Argentina is bidding for its first title, following their fourth runner-up finish to the Spaniards last December.
On Sunday, Berdych will aim to close out the tie for the Czechs when he takes on Berlocq, who replaces an injured Juan Martin del Potro. Should Berlocq level to 2-2, Stepanek will square off against Juan Monaco in the deciding rubber.
Argentina's last loss in a home tie on clay came at the hands of the Slovak Republic in 1998. The Argentines have won 18 of their last 20 clay-court ties overall.
Click to watch Video 'Highlights of the match'
Carlos Berloq and Eduardo Schwank greet Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek at the net
Homepage of Davis Cup site Saturday, September 15, 2012