Berdych sends champion Czechs to Davis Cup quarters


The Sports Network

Ostrava, Czech Republic ( - Tomas Berdych played the role of hero this weekend, winning each of his three matches to send the two-time reigning champion Czech Republic past the Netherlands and into the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

Berdych, following a run to the Australian Open semifinals, pounded Igor Sjisling in the second reverse singles match Friday to give the Czechs a split on the first day of play, then teamed with Radek Stepanek in a doubles win Saturday.

The world No. 7 was first on the court Sunday in the opening reverse singles match and outclassed Thiemo de Bakker, 6-1, 6-4, 6-3, to clinch the best-of- five tie for the host nation.

Sjisling then won the dead rubber for the Dutch, 6-3, 6-3, over Lukas Rosol to make it a 3-2 final.

Berdych needed just an hour and 46 minutes to wrap it up for the Czechs, winning 93 of the 157 points played and breaking serve six times.

DeBakker was given the nod ahead of Robin Haase, who was given a rest after winning a grueling five-set opening singles match Friday against Stepanek and playing in Saturday's nearly four-hour doubles match. DeBakker had also beaten Berdych last year in Bastad, but was simply no match on Sunday.

The Dutch were playing in the world group of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2009 and haven't won a world group tie since 2005 against Switzerland.

Next up for the Czechs, now unbeaten in 10 straight Davis Cup ties, will be a visit to Japan for an April quarterfinal. The Japanese toppled Canada this weekend.

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