Connect to share and comment
Lukas Rosol of Czech Republic put the defending champions into the Davis Cup semi-finals with a tough win over Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev at Astana on Sunday.
Rosol, who is 63rd in the ATP rankings, won 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 his first ever head-to-head meeting with the 25-year-old Korolev in three hours 34 minutes to give his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie.
Both players started cautiously, trying to avoid unnecessary risks, before Rosol snatched the opening set tie-break.
In the second set Korolev, who is 187th in the world, broke in the sixth game but Rosol broke back in the ninth to set up another tiebreak, which Korolev won to level at one set all.
The third set was almost a carbon copy of the second as Korolev grabbed the lead in the fifth game, while Rosol levelled in the 10th. But this time the 27-year-old Czech was more precise in the tiebreak to clinch a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth Rosol underlined his clay supremacy, breaking his rival's serve twice to win the set, the match and a place in the semi-finals for his team.
On Friday Rosol and Jan Hajek gave Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead beating Andrey Golubev 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 respectively.
On Saturday Kazakhstan's pair of Golubev and Yuriy Schukin reduced the arrears with a straight-set win 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 over the Czech pair Hajek and Radek Stepanek.