|Posted on February 23, 2015 at 4:45 PM|
Czechs without Berdych, Stepanek
PRAGUE -- The Czech Republic will be without Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in the first round of the Davis Cup against Australia.
Berdych and Stepanek teamed up to beat Spain in the 2012 Davis Cup final and retained the title in 2013 by defeating Serbia.
The eighth-ranked Berdych has opted to focus on the ATP Tour this year after hiring Dani Vallverdu as his coach while Stepanek is not fit enough following an injury.
“Tomas will skip the first round but he will play the quarter-finals or the relegation tie,” Czech manager Miroslav Cernosek said.
“He has swapped his coaching team to boost his individual career and his hopes are pretty high.”
Berdych, the 29-year-old world No. 7, hired Andy Murray’s former coach Dani Vallverdu last December in a bid to lift his first grand slam trophy.
Berdych, who lost to David Ferrer in the Qatar Open final on Sunday, has only missed three Davis Cup ties since he joined the Czech team in 2003.
Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely were named Monday to play in the March 6-8 series on indoor hard courts in the eastern city of Ostrava. Rookies Adam Pavlasek and Jan Mertl are also in the Czech team.
The Czechs lost their only encounter against Australia as an independent nation in 1997.