After battling to singles wins on Friday, Radek Stepanek and
Lukas Rosol paired up for a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory over Tatsuma Ito and
Yasutaka Uchiyama at the Ariake Coliseum to set up a last four
encounter against either Germany or France.
In a match that lasted two hours and 20 minutes, the Czech pairing
won all three sets with a break of serve in the 10th game against
the error-prone Japanese to remain on course for a third straight
Davis Cup title and fourth overall.
Rosol was brought in as a substitute for Jiri Vesely by Czech
captain Jaroslav Navratil on Saturday morning and the move proved
inspired with the world number 40 exhibiting a strong serve and
playing especially well from the baseline.
On Friday, former world number eight Stepanek, now 47th, came from a
set down to beat Ito 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 6-1 7-5 before Rosol survived a
mid-match meltdown to overcome 21-year-old Taro Daniel 6-4 6-4 3-6
4-6 6-2 in the second rubber.
Both sides came into the contest without their top players.
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World number five Tomas Berdych is out for the Czechs following two
tough tournaments in the United States, while Kei Nishikori is
sidelined with a groin problem suffered in a victory over Roger
Federer at last week's Sony Open in Miami.
The Czechs are likely to face Germany in September's semi-final
encounter after Carsten Arriens' unfancied side opened a 2-0 lead
over the French on the opening day of their tie in Nancy.
(Writing by John O'Brien in Singapore, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
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