HANNOVER, March 5, 2016
The Czechs will go into Sunday with a one-point-advantage over Germany thanks to 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 win in the doubles. Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, who won his 35th Davis Cup match today, getting the job done against German duo Philipp Kohlschreiber and Philipp Petzschner.
Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil pulled the right strings in subbing Berdych in for Jiri Vesely ahead of the match. The Germans couldn’t convert one of their five break point chances but the Czech’s capitalized on two of their six opportunities. Berdych and Stepanek gained the crucial breaks in the 11th game of the second as well as in the fourth game of the third set to finish the match after two hours and 43 minutes.
“The most important thing is that we made the point for our team,” Stepanek told. “But it was a tough battle, a very tough first set. The German team played a very high level, but we handled it very well. After the first set, we took the momentum and were the better team from then on.”
The first set took about 90 minutes. “It was very important to take the opening set, as we could feel the pressure from the Germans. I am very happy,” Berdych added.
Stepanek and Berdych are the most successful doubles team in the Davis Cup history of the Czech Republic. “The team spirit we have between each other and our games combine very well on the doubles court. We have played so many doubles matches together. We are on a great wave and we are going to keep it going as long as we can,” Stepanek said.
The Czech Republic took a big step in their quest to notch their first victory over Germany since 1982. On Sunday, Berdych will take on Philipp Kohlschreiber and Lukas Rosol will face Alexander Zverev.