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Tennis: Berdych to lead Czechs in Davis Cup opener

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

World number seven and Australian Open semi-finalist Tomas Berdych will lead holders the Czech Republic into their Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands later this month, captain Jaroslav Navratil announced on Tuesday.

Berdych, 28, will be flanked by 44th-ranked Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely in the World Group, first round match-up in Ostrava, close to the Czech border with Poland, on January 31-February 2.

"We hope to continue our recent run of results," said Navratil, whose team beat Spain in the 2012 final and then defeated Serbia to retain their crown in Belgrade late last year.

"Berdych is in great form. He is serving brilliantly and is very strong from the baseline."

Berdych himself is still envisaging the prospect of taking a rest from Davis Cup competition after the meeting with the Dutch.

"I have won the trophy twice. I have done a lot of things for the team over the last 10 or 11 years. I would say I deserve a rest," he told Czech media in Melbourne.

The beaten finalist at Wimbledon in 2010, Berdych advanced to the semi-finals of this year's first Grand Slam with a four-set victory against Spain's David Ferrer on Tuesday.

He will meet Stanislas Wawrinka in the last four in Melbourne.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140121/tennis-berdych-lead-czechs-davis-cup-opener