2/3/13 2:44 AM | Ricky Dimon
If the Czech Republic vs. Switzerland tie gets even more exciting and goes five, it will come down to Lukas Rosol and Henri Laaksonen. Stanislas Wawrinka first has to beat Tomas Berdych.
Lukas Rosol and Henri Laaksonen will be squaring off for the first time in their careers on Sunday afternoon if the first-round Davis Cup tie between the Czech Republic and Switzerland goes the distance. It would be one of the biggest matches of either man's career.
Rosol is by no means an established force on the ATP Tour, but he is suddenly becoming a veteran of pressure moments and memorable matches. The 73rd-ranked Czech stunned Rafael Nadal in the 2012 Wimbledon second round then in Saturday's epic doubles rubber he teamed up with Tomas Berdych to outlast Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(3), 24-22 after seven hours and two minutes.
Laaksonen had won only a single ATP-level match in his career prior to Friday, but he turned in respectable performance against Berdych in what was his second Davis Cup rubber and first for Switzerland (previously played for Finland). The 20-year-old battled to take the third set from his heavily-favored opponent before doing down 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-1.
On paper, Rosol is the obvious favorite--but a seven-hour doubles match cannot be considered ideal preparation. If Wawrinka can beat Berdych and send this tie to five, the stars may be aligned for Laaksonen to become a Davis Cup hero.
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