Buenos Aires, Argentina (Sports Network) - Former U.S. Open champion Juan
Martin del Potro and former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych posted singles
wins Friday, as host Argentina and the Czech Republic are tied at 1-1 in their
best-of-five Davis Cup semifinal.
In the opening rubber, the 6-foot-6 del Potro, playing with a sore left wrist,
handled Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-4, 6-2, while Day 1's dramatic
nightcap saw Berdych outlast Argentine Juan Monaco in five sets, 6-1, 4-6,
1-6, 6-4, 6-4, to level the showdown on the red clay at Parque Roca in Buenos
Berdych, who was a U.S. Open semifinalist last week, needed just over four
hours to overcome the gritty Monaco. The sloppy match featured a whopping 21
breaks of serve, including 11 for the Czech winner.
The powerful Berdych prevailed despite committing 18 more unforced errors
than Monaco (66-48).
Del Potro, meanwhile, smacked seven aces and was broken only once while piling
up five breaks against the overmatched Stepanek. "DelPo" saved seven-of-eight
break-point chances against him.
Saturday's pivotal doubles rubber will pit Argentines Carlos Berlocq and
Eduardo Schwank versus a Czech tandem of Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol, while
Sunday's reverse singles currently call for the world No. 8 del Potro to
lock horns with the sixth-ranked Berdych and the No. 11 Monaco to take on the
The Argentines are captained by Martin Jaite, while the Czechs are led by
The Czechs are 3-1 all-time versus the Argentines, including a win in their
last meeting in a quarterfinal in Ostrava in 2009.
Argentina lost to Spain in last year's World Group final in Seville, falling
to 0-4 in Davis Cup finals.
The Argentina-Czech Republic winner will meet the Spain-United States victor
in the final in November.
The Sports Network