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  • Stepanek gives Czech Republic 2-0 lead over Belgium

    3/5/10 9:40 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Stepanek gives Czech Republic 2-0 lead over Belgium Radek Stepanek took out Xavier Malisse in straight sets Friday, posting a key victory in the second singles rubber. Tomas Berdych defeated Olivier Rochus earlier in the day.

    Tomas Berdych def. Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-0, 6-4

    Tomas Berdych earned the first point for the Czech Repubic after downing Olivier Rochus early Friday. The 24-year-old saved seven of 8 break points en route to a 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 victory in two hours and 21 minutes. Berdych completed the afternoon with 49 winners, including 11 aces. Rochus played from behind for most of the match, having dropped his opening service game in all three sets. Berdych lost steam at the end, but converted his sixth match point to take the rubber. The Czech now leads the Belgian 3-2 in the head-to-head series.

    Radek Stepanek def. Xavier Malisse 6-2, 6-4, 7-6

    Radek Stepanek improved his record to 4-3 over Xavier Malisse, after scoring a straight-sets victory in the second singles rubber. The 31-year-old veteran cashed in six of 7 break points and 16 of 26 net points to win in two hours and 16 minutes. The Belgian twice took service breaks in set two, but could not hold the lead. Stepanek collected three match points in the third-set tie-break, closing to give his country a 2-0 advantage.

    Doubles team Lukas Dlouhy and Jan Hajek will attempt to push the Czech Republic in the quarters, as they face Belgians Steve Darcis and Olivier Rochus on Saturday.



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