Tennis: Stepanek back in Czech team against Kazakhstan

Recovering Radek Stepanek will team up with Tomas Berdych to lead holders Czech Republic in the Davis Cup quarter-final tie against Kazakhstan in Astana on April 5-7, team captain Jaroslav Navratil said on Tuesday.

Following a cervical disc surgery in January, Stepanek missed the first-round tie in which the Czechs beat Switzerland 3-2 in Geneva in February.

Navratil named world number six Berdych and 43-ranked Stepanek alongside Lukas Rosol (64), Jan Hajek (98) and Ivo Minar (245).

"We have a five-member team. Stepanek is training hard and getting into shape, but his health is not ideal... so the pick is broader," said Navratil.

Last November, Berdych and Stepanek led the Czech Republic to its first Davis Cup trophy since the country became independent in 1993, beating Spain 3-2 in Prague.

Kazakhstan is the last team that beat the Czechs in the competition. Since the surprise loss in 2011, the Czech Republic have won six Davis Cup ties in a row.