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Czech Republic beats Switzerland 3-2, advance to World Group

Czech Republic beats Switzerland 3-2, advance to World Group

Radek Stepanek beat Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (3), 6-3, 7-6 (4) Sunday to give the Czech Republic a 3-2 win over Roger Federer-led Switzerland and a place in Davis Cup's World Group.
Federer, playing in the Davis Cup for the first time this year, put the best-of-series at 2-2 earlier in the day by beating Tomas Berdych 7-6 (5), 7-6 (10), 6-3.
But Stepanek, who was making his comeback to the Czech team after leaving the squad in 2004, delivered the final point in the deciding match.
"Thanks for a nice welcome to the national team," Stepanek said to the crowd of 14,000 at the Sazka Arena.
Both Stepanek and Wawrinka held serve in the opening set, with the Czech winning the tiebreaker. Stepanek then broke Wawrinka for a 3-1 lead in the second set.
Wawrinka took a 3-0 lead in the third set, but Stepanek broke back for 3-2 and evened the score with a love game. Serving at deuce with Wawrinka leading 4-3, Stepanek took a medical time-out and then served with tape above his knee to even the score at 4-4.
Wawrinka won the next game at love to lead 5-4, but Stepanek held on and won the tiebreaker.
Federer had a tough time against Berdych in the first reverse singles match.
"This match reminded me a lot of the U.S. Open final against (Novak) Djokovic when I was down and came back, too," Federer said.
Berdych broke Federer for a 2-1 lead in the first set but failed to convert a set point in the ninth game. Federer then broke back to level at 5-5.
Berdych took a 3-0 lead in the tiebreaker, but Federer won the next six points before closing out the set.
Leading 3-2 in the second set, Berdych again had two set points against Federer's serve in the ninth game, but failed to convert. Berdych had another three set points in the tiebreaker, but the Swiss No. 1 finally won 12-10.
"It was close, he had his chances but he missed them," Federer said.
Federer then broke Berdych for 5-3 in the third set and ended the match with an ace.
"I was not doing my best today, but winning in straight sets is a great result for Switzerland," Federer said.
On Friday, the two teams split the opening singles matches. Federer needed seven match points to beat Stepanek and Berdych defeated Wawrinka.
Berdych and Stepanek won Saturday's doubles to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead.
Without Federer, Switzerland was relegated to the playoffs after losing to visiting Spain 3-2 in February. The Czech Republic lost to the United States 4-1 in the first round.
While the Czechs advance to World Group, Switzerland drops to a regional zone.