Czechs take 2-1 lead over Spain in Davis Cup

Associated Press Modified: November 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm •  Published: November 17, 2012
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The Czech pair broke Granollers for the first time to seize a 5-2 lead in the fourth set when the Spaniard netted a volley.

"I served well until the (fourth) set," Granollers said. "But I couldn't put in the first serve in that game."

Since they teamed up for the doubles in 2007 in a playoff against Switzerland, Berdych and Stepanek's only defeat in the Davis Cup came in a 5-0 loss to Spain in the 2009 final.

"We know what we are capable to do in Davis Cup," Stepanek said. "And we also know that the doubles points matter and we played together so many times, so we have all the experience we can have."

Coming off a big title at the ATP finals Monday, Granollers and Lopez took control early. Stepanek double-faulted twice for the Czechs to be broken in the second game of the opening set to trail 1-4. Granollers served it out at love.

The Czechs turned things around in the second set, breaking Lopez for a 3-1 lead, and then converted their fourth set point with a forehand volley from Stepanek.

Lopez was broken for the third time in the 12th game of the third set when Berdych converted a second set point with a backhand volley at the net.

Stepanek struggled with his serve again after five double-faults in the first set of his loss to Ferrer on Friday. Berdych than needed almost four hours to overcome Almagro in five sets to tie the series.

"Tomas (playing) after a four-hour game finishing at midnight and coming so strong today, it just show the desire and hunger we have for the trophy," Stepanek said. "Hopefully we can make it tomorrow."



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