Davis Cup: Czech Republic leads Argentina 2-0

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 13, 2013
The defending champion Czech Republic took a 2-0 lead over Argentina in the Davis Cup semifinals Friday behind singles victories by Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych. The Czechs are one win from their third final in five years. The winner of the best-of-five series will play Serbia or Canada for the title in November. Stepanek overcame a sluggish start in the first match, defeating Juan Monaco 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2. Berdych, ranked fifth, followed with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Leonardo Mayer on the fast indoor hard court at O2 Arena. Argentina was without star player Juan Martin del Potro, who skipped the Davis Cup this season. Berdych and Stepanek have a 12-1 record in Davis Cup doubles and can wrap up the series Saturday against Carlos Berlocq and Horacio Zeballos. ''We are 2-0 up, that's what we wanted. Now, the most important thing is to get ready for the doubles,'' Berdych said. Berdych looked relieved after he edged his 93rd-ranked opponent in more than three hours. He had to save a break point before converting his second match point when Mayer hit a forehand wide. ''I'm grateful for the result,'' he said. ''The first two sets were not ideal from me.'' Said Mayer: ''I tried to attack as much as I could. He was better.'' Stepanek was playing his first Davis Cup singles this year and just days after his second Grand Slam doubles title at the U.S. Open on Sunday. ''I was trying to be active,'' said Stepanek, who had 13 aces. ''It was an important match for me. I faced a great opponent, but I wanted to use to my favor the surface and the fans.'' Stepanek converted his first match point to improve to 5-2 against Monaco. Stepanek also beat Monaco to clinch the 2009 Davis Cup quarterfinal for the Czechs, also at home on a fast court in Ostrava. ''It's just coincidence,'' he said. ''But I think I was the better player in those two matches.'' Stepanek missed the first-round victory at Switzerland because of a neck operation and was able to play only doubles in the 3-1 quarterfinal win at Kazakhstan. He and Berdych played all five matches in last year's final in Prague and beat Spain 3-2. In the first set, Stepanek was frustrated at the net by Monaco's passing shots. The Argentine took advantage of his first break point to go 3-1 up but allowed Stepanek to get back into the set with a double-fault on break point in the following game. ''He played so much better than me,'' Monaco said. ''I had my chances in the first set but couldn't make it. He impressed me.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Is Serena Williams the most important modern athlete?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Junk Diver: Yasiel Puig

Fan freaks out Yankees by falling into the dugout

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Tennis News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker