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Monday April 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday April 26, 2013 MYT 1:14:45 AM
PARIS: Lukas Rosol of Czech Republic put the defending champions into the Davis Cup semi-finals with a tough win over Kazakhstan’s Evgeny Korolev at Astana on Sunday.
Rosol, who is 63rd in the ATP rankings, won 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 his first ever head-to-head meeting with the 25-year-old Korolev in three hours 34 minutes to give his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie.
Both players started cautiously, trying to avoid unnecessary risks, before Rosol snatched the opening set tie-break.
In the second set Korolev, who is 187th in the world, broke in the sixth game but Rosol broke back in the ninth to set up another tiebreak, which Korolev won to level at one set all.
The third set was almost a carbon copy of the second as Korolev grabbed the lead in the fifth game, while Rosol levelled in the 10th. But this time the 27-year-old Czech was more precise in the tiebreak to clinch a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth Rosol underlined his clay supremacy, breaking his rival’s serve twice to win the set, the match and a place in the semi-finals for his team.
On Friday Rosol and Jan Hajek gave Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead beating Andrey Golubev 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 respectively.
On Saturday Kazakhstan’s pair of Golubev and Yuriy Schukin reduced the arrears with a straight-set win 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 over the Czech pair Hajek and Radek Stepanek.
Argentina lead France 2-1 in their Davis Cup World Group quarter-final tie after David Nalbandian and Horacio Zeballos came from behind to win their doubles on Saturday.
French duo Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra took the first set but Nalbandian and Zeballos fought back to clinch the match 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 6-3 to give the hosts the upper hand ahead of yesterday’s reverse singles.
The teams were all square after Argentine Juan Monaco had levelled the tie following Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s victory over Carlos Berlocq on Friday.
Monaco is set to face Tsonga in the opening singles, with Berlocq up against Gilles Simon in the reverse singles.
Serbia took a major step towards trying to reach the semi-finals by outlasting hosts United States in a marathon five-set victory in Saturday’s doubles of their Davis Cup tie.
Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic shocked the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-1), 5-7, 4-6, 15-13 to give Serbia a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five tie heading into a pair of Sunday’s reverse singles matches.
World No. 1 and reigning Australian Open champ Novak Djokovic can send Serbia into the semis with a win over American Sam Querrey, who is ranked 20th in the world.
Querrey has a 13-7 record this year with no titles and has lost five of six career meetings to Djokovic.
The winner of the US and Serbia quarter-final tie will meet the winner of the Canada and Italy tie which the Canucks lead 2-1 after Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil outlasted Italy’s Fabio Fognini and Daniele Bracciali 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 3-6, 15-13 in another marathon doubles rubber. — AFP
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