Ironman Berdych books Czech spot in quarter-finals

Sun Feb 3, 2013 4:10pm EST
 

LONDON (Reuters) - Holders Czech Republic moved into the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup on Sunday with Tomas Berdych outlasting Swiss opponent Stanislas Wawrinka a day after the pair emerged from a marathon doubles encounter.

Berdych enjoyed a comparatively easy 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 victory over Wawrinka, to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-1 lead, a day after he and Lukas Rosol edged a punishing seven-hour clash with Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 24-22 in the final set.

The Czechs will now travel to Kazakhstan in April after the former Soviet nation wrapped up a 3-1 victory over Austria on Sunday.

Italy also booked their place in the quarter-finals after Fabio Fognini beat Croatia's Ivan Dodig in a decisive fifth rubber.

The Czechs came into the final day with a 2-1 advantage and Berdych took three hours and 15 minutes to wrap up a four-set win over an equally weary Wawrinka, who had defeated Rosol in the singles on Friday.

"This is a team event and the people we have in the team have magic hands. They did a really great job and they told me I would be ready," Berdych, who did not get to bed until 2am on Sunday after Saturday's exploits, told reporters.

"I was feeling good from the first point and was quite ready for a fifth set."

The match ended 3-2 after Switzerland's Henri Laaksonen won the dead fifth rubber 0-6 6-3 6-1 against Jiri Vesely.

Andrey Golubev gave a bloody nose to a player ranked 157 places above him with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Austria's Juergen Melzer to give Kazakhstan a place in the quarter-finals for only their second time.   Continued...

 
Tomas Berdych (L) of the Czech Republic celebrates with his team mate Lukas Rosol after winning his Davis Cup world group round 1 tennis doubles match against Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 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