Czech Republic advances to Davis Cup semifinal

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Tokyo, Japan (4E Sports) – Two-time defending champion Czech Republic booked a spot in the semifinal of the Davis Cup World Group after Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol prevailed in the doubles match Saturday.

The partnership of Stepanek and Lukas Rosol cruised to a straight-set victory over the Japanese duo of Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, to advance against the winner of the France-Germany clash.

This was the third meeting between Czech Republic and Japan. The former Czechoslovakia beat Japan in 1935 and the Japanese topped the Czechs in their first-ever clash way back in 1930.

The Czechs have to wait another day to determine their next opponent after France clinched the doubles to cut Germany’s lead to 2-1.

Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra beat the German duo of Andre Begemann and Tobias Kamke, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-5.

Germany took a 2-0 lead in Friday’s opening singles rubbers after getting wins from Kamke and Peter Gojowczyk.

In Sunday’s reverse singles, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is scheduled on court first against Kamke. Benneteau would follow against Gojowczyk.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray carried Great Britain to a 2-1 lead over Italy in their Davis Cup quarterfinal tie.

After finishing off Andreas Seppi, 6-4, 7-5, 6-3, Saturday morning, Murray returned later in the day to partner with Colin Fleming for a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory against Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

Fognini got the hosts on the board Friday by beating Brit James Ward 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 on the red clay at Tennis Club Napoli.

In Sunday’s reverse singles, Fognini is scheduled on court first against Murray. Seppi would follow against Ward.

The winner will take on the winner of the Switzerland-Kazakhstan showdown in September.

Kazakhstan took a 2-1 lead after Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov stunned Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), in the doubles.

Golubev started Friday’s opening singles rubbers with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Wawrinka but Federer defeated Mikhail Kukushkin in the Day 1 nightcap to even the best-of-five at 1-1.

In Sunday’s reverse singles, Wawrinka is scheduled on court first against Kukushkin. Federer would follow against Golubev.

On the WTA Tour, Andrea Petkovic defeated Eugenie Bouchard, 1-,6 6-3, 7-5, to advance to the final of the Family Circle Cup.

Petkovic will go for her third and biggest WTA title against Jana Cepelova, who defeated Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7).

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