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Berdych/Stepanek Put Czechs In Front Of Argentina

Berdych, Stepanek© AFP/Getty ImagesTomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek have won all nine sets they've played together in Davis Cup action this year.

Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina (clay – outdoor)

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek improved to 3-0 in doubles rubbers this year on Saturday, defeating Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to put the Czech Republic in front of Argentina 2-1 in their Davis Cup semi-final tie in Buenos Aires.

Berdych and Stepanek won 74 per cent of their first serve points and broke the Argentines six times to wrap up victory in two hours and 37 minutes. The Czechs have won all nine sets they’ve played in their three Davis Cup matches together in 2012.

“It’s very loud in here and we knew that when we were coming to this place,” said Stepanek. “It was always going to be like that so we concentrated only on our half of the court. We said before the match, we play the match together and we are partners and stick together all the way no matter what. That’s all we did and we are very pleased with our performance.”

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The Czech Republic is looking to get back to the final for the second time in four years, having finished runner-up to Spain in 2009. Argentina is bidding for its first title, following their fourth runner-up finish to the Spaniards last December.

On Sunday, Berdych will aim to close out the tie for the Czechs when he takes on Berlocq, who replaces an injured Juan Martin del Potro. Should Berlocq level to 2-2, Stepanek will square off against Juan Monaco in the deciding rubber.

Argentina's last loss in a home tie on clay came at the hands of the Slovak Republic in 1998. The Argentines have won 18 of their last 20 clay-court ties overall.

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