Czechs set Davis Cup record as Serbia cruise

Sat Feb 2, 2013 5:16pm EST
 

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Holders Czech Republic showed how tenaciously they will fight to retain the Davis Cup on Saturday as Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol won a record-breaking doubles match against Swiss duo Marco Chiudinelli and Stanislas Wawrinka.

Their seven hour two minute victory, including a 24-22 final set, put the Czechs 2-1 ahead in the tie in Geneva and they need to win only one of the two singles rubbers on Sunday.

The Czechs needed 13 match points before the Swiss finally cracked but for France and Serbia things were far more straightforward as they took unassailable 3-0 leads in their matches against Israel and Belgium respectively.

Argentina also clinched a quarter-final berth by taking a 3-0 lead against Germany.

Top seeds Spain will try to stay alive in Canada later on Saturday having lost both of Friday's singles.

Czech Rosol was formerly best known as the man who stunned Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon last year but now he has another claim to fame after Saturday's epic doubles win with Berdych.

Their 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-7 24-22 win was achieved despite fierce home support and was sealed by a double-fault.

Wawrinka, who lost a five-set epic against Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, now needs to recover his energy to take on Berdych again in Sunday's first reverse singles.   Continued...

 
Tomas Berdych (L) of the Czech Republic and his team mate Lukas Rosol (2nd L) shake hands with Stanislas Wawrinka (2R) and Marco Chiudinelli (R) of Switzerland after winning their Davis Cup world group round 1 tennis doubles match at Palexpo in Geneva February 2, 2013. With a duration of seven hours and one minute, the match was the longest in Davis Cup history. REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud