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Czech Republic Reaches Davis Cup SFs; Great Britain Closes On Historic Victory

World Group, Quarter-finals

Czech Republic© Getty ImagesLukas Rosol (top) and Radek Stepanek celebrate giving Czech Republic an unassailable 3-0 lead versus Japan. reviews Saturday's Davis Cup quarter-final action.

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

Two-time defending champion Czech Republic has reached the Davis Cup World Group semi-finals after it took a 3-0 unassailable lead over Japan at the Ariake Coliseum, the venue of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships.

Lukas Rosol and Radek Stepanek defeated Japan’s Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday in the doubles rubber. The Czech Republic will next play France or Germany in September.

"This was our first Davis Cup doubles together," said Stepanek. "We did well and found our range together. We had it under control from the first set."

Rosol said, "We finished the sets strongly today and are happy to be going to the semi-finals. It's always nice to have more players, but I think Radek and I played really well this weekend." 

Venue: Tennis Club Napoli, Naples, Italy (clay - outdoor)

Fleming, MurrayThirty-three years ago, Great Britain defeated 1976 champion Italy en route to the Davis Cup semi-finals. At the conclusion of the doubles rubber on Saturday, the nine-time titlist leads Italy 2-1.

Andy Murray won eight of 11 games played on Saturday morning to complete a 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Andreas Seppi and level the tie at 1-1. The second singles rubber resumed at 5-5 in the second set, after bad light had suspended play on Friday night.

It was Murray's 19th straight singles rubber win.

Two hours later Murray returned to the temporary clay court, overlooking the Bay of Naples, in tandem with Colin Fleming, to record a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in three hours. Ross Hutchins had originally been slated to partner Fleming, while Paolo Lorenzi was going to team up with Bolelli.

On Sunday, Murray could give Great Britain its first away win against Italy since 1926 should he beat Fognini in the first reverse singles rubber. Seppi will take on James Ward in the final rubber of the tie.

The winner of the tie will travel to Kazakhstan or host Switzerland in September.

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