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Saturday, September 14, 2013
Czech Republic into Davis Cup final

ESPN.com news services

PRAGUE -- Defending champion Czech Republic reached the Davis Cup final after winning its doubles match Saturday to eliminate Argentina.

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek defeated Carlos Berlocq and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to give the Czechs an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five semifinal.

"We would like to keep the trophy because it's beautiful," Stepanek said. "This competition means a lot to us."

Berdych and Stepanek improved their Davis Cup doubles record to 13-1. Berdych converted the first match point with a service winner to send the Czechs to a third final in five years in front of more than 11,000 fans at O2 Arena.

"It's an honor for us to play in such an atmosphere," Stepanek, who was jumping on the court with other members of the squad, told the crowd. "You're fantastic."

The Czechs never lost serve, saving two Argentine break opportunities to clinch their eighth straight cup victory.

Days after his second Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open, Stepanek dominated at the net with his volleys while Berdych delivered with his powerful serve. It was a combination the Argentines could not counter in their Davis Cup doubles debut.

"Everything was on the right place, today," Berdych said. "We didn't drop serve, and then we were taking our chances."

Added Zeballos: "Berdych has an unbelievable serve and really good return, and Stepanek has a lot of confidence right now."

On Friday, Stepanek swept Juan Monaco 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 and Berdych beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Argentina was without star Juan Martin del Potro, who skipped Davis Cup this year. Still, Argentina reached the semifinals for the fourth consecutive year.

"It was a really good year for our country," Zeballos said.

Canada 2, Serbia 1

BELGRADE, Serbia -- Canada moved into position to reach its first final by beating Serbia in a five-set doubles match Saturday for a 2-1 lead.

Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil outlasted Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac 6-7 (6), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8 in 4½ hours on the red clay at Belgrade Arena.

Canada coach Martin Laurendeau called this "a moment we've been waiting for a long time."

"We have to be grateful it went all the way tonight," he said. "The weekend isn't over yet. We're facing the world No. 1 tomorrow and this is a very stiff crowd."

The best-of-five semifinal likely will be decided in the final match Sunday. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic is expected to beat Canada's Milos Raonic, who took more than four hours to win his singles Friday. Then, Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic and Pospisil could meet in the decider.

"This is a heavy blow, but we still have the singles," Serbia coach Bogdan Obradovic said.

Obradovic said "Pospisil will likely be tired after such dramatic two days."

The winner of the series will play for the title in November against the Czech Republic.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.