Davis Cup: Czech Republic knock out Japan thanks to victory in doubles rubber
Last Updated: 05/04/14 5:06pm
The Czech Republic booked their place in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup with victory in Saturday's doubles against Japan.
Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol paired up for the reigning champions and eased to a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama at the Ariake Coliseum, giving their team an unassailable 3-0 lead in the tie.
The Czech pairing won all three sets in identical fashion, recording breaks of serve in the 10th game, to remain on course for a third straight title and fourth overall.
Rosol had not actually been due to play in the doubles rubber but was drafted in by captain Jaroslav Navratil on the morning match, coming in as a replacement for Jiri Vesely.
"This was our first Davis Cup doubles together," Stepanek said. "We did well and found our range together. We had it under control from the first set."
Either Germany or France await the Czechs, who were without world no. 5 Tomas Berdych against a Japanese squad minus the services of their leading player, Kei Nishikori, due to injury, in the last four.
The French kept themselves alive when Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau recorded a doubles victory to halve the deficit. The duo defeated Tobias Kamke and Andre Begemann 6-1 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-5 after the Germans had taken a shock 2-0 lead on Friday.
Meanwhile, Kazakhstan are one rubber away from the last four after Swiss pair Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka slumped to a shock defeat in the doubles to trail 2-1.
Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov stunned Federer and Wawrinka 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 7-6 (8/6).
Australian Open champion Wawrinka, the world number three, had also lost his opening singles on Friday, going down 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7/5) to 64th ranked Golubev.
But 17-time Grand Slam winner Federer then stormed to a straight sets 6-4 6-4 6-2 win over Mikhail Kukushkin to level the tie.