OSTRAVA, Czech Republic (AP) — The Czech Republic leveled its Davis Cup World Group tie with the Netherlands at 1-1 on Friday after Tomas Berdych swept aside Igor Sijsling in the opening singles.
Berdych, an Australian Open semifinalist, dominated throughout as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory for the defending champions in the first round matchup.
Never facing a break point, the seventh-ranked Berdych broke Sijsling early in each set and secured one break in the first set, two in the second and three in the third before converting his first match point with a powerful forehand winner.
"I tried to go on attack," Berdych said. "I'm glad that I got rid of the fatigue (from the Australian Open). I felt really good on the court and played accordingly."
Earlier, Robin Haase rallied to beat Radek Stepanek in five sets and give the Netherlands a 1-0 lead.
The 46th-ranked Haase won the hard fought contest 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-1 in 3 hours and 39 minutes on an indoor hard court at CEZ Arena.
Berdych and Stepanek are expected to team up for Saturday's doubles, and could face Thiemo de Bakker and Jean-Julien Rojer.
Haase broke Stepanek for a 3-1 lead in the final set and did the same in the sixth game before serving out, converting his first match-point with a forehand winner.