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Czechs Take Lead In Tokyo; Tsonga, France Fall Behind Against Germany

World Group, Quarter-finals

Stepanek© Getty ImagesRadek Stepanek came from a set down to beat Tatsuma Ito. reviews Friday's Davis Cup quarter-final action.

Venue: Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan (hard - indoor)

Wins for Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol gave two-time defending Davis Cup champion Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead over host nation Japan on Friday in Tokyo.

Stepanek fought from a set down to defeat Tatsuma Ito 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-1, 7-5 in three hours and 53 minutes, while Rosol survived a five-set fightback from Taro Daniel to prevail 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 in three hours and 12 minutes.

Stepanek was the hero in both the 2012 and ‘13 Davis Cup finals as he clinched the fifth and decisive rubber for Czech Republic against Spain and Serbia, respectively. The 35 year old fired 18 aces and hit 42 winners to just 11 unforced errors to claim his 32nd Davis Cup victory. Rosol, playing his 10th rubber, improved to a 7-3 mark.

"It was very difficult. My opponent played very freely, swinging from all parts of the court," said Stepanek. "It was a bit scary when he got to set point in the second set, but I played an unbelievable volley and I think it was a very important point in the match. Sometimes you have days when you aren't playing your best tennis and you have to find a way through."

Czech Republic is looking to extend its winning streak to 11 ties in a row and reach the semi-finals for the fifth time in six years. Japan is through to the World Group quarter-finals for the first time, having beaten Canada in the first round. The Czechs will look to clinch victory in Saturday doubles, when Stepanek and Jiri Vesely take on Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama.

View Schedule & Tie Information

Venue: Palais Des Sports Jean Weille, Nancy, France (hard - indoor)

GojowczykTobias Kamke and Peter Gojowczyk put Germany within one rubber of upsetting host nation France, after respectively defeating Julien Benneteau and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Friday in Nancy.

World No. 96 Kamke gave Germany a 1-0 lead as he defeated Julien Benneteau 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-2. He struck 45 winners and broke the 50th-ranked Benneteau on five occasions to record his first Davis Cup victory.

The 24-year-old Gojowczyk, who broke into the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings in January, stunned World No. 12 Tsonga for his fifth tour-level victory. He won 14 points less than Tsonga, who had 88 winners including 36 aces, but prevailed 5-7, 7-6(3), 3-6, 7-6(8), 8-6 after four hours and 19 minutes.

Tsonga, who held match points at 6-5 and 7-6 in the fourth set tie-break, dropped serve for the only time in the final game. He saved the first seven break point chances he had faced, including two match points for Gojowczyk in the 10th game of the fifth set.

Three-time champion Germany is looking to beat France for the first time since 1938 and is looking to reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2007. 

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