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17 January 2013

Full-strength squad to start title defence


Photo: Martin SidorjakRadek Stepanek (CZE) and Tomas Berdych (CZE)

The Czech Republic will start their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas title defence with a team led by the golden pair of Czech tennis, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek. The team is completed by Lukas Rosol and youngster Jiri Vesely. They will travel to Switzerland for the first round to be played on 1-3 February.

The Czechs will try to keep momentum after an outstanding 2012 that saw the eastern European country triumph in both men’s and women’s most important team competitions in tennis, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. The amazing feat was especially remarkable for the men’s team as all the live rubbers were won by only two players, national heroes Berdych and Stepanek.

The only surprise in the nominations announced by captain Jaroslav Navratil, is the inclusion of Czech rising star Jiri Vesely. In spite of his youth, the 19-year-old has accumulated an impressive array of titles after becoming the first Czech player ever to win the Boy’s singles and doubles titles at the Australian Open in 2011. Vesely also won the Olympic gold medal in 2010 at the first summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. The young Czech received his first Davis Cup nomination in February 2011 at the age of 17, the youngest in the Czech national team history, but did not make his debut back then.

Czech Republic will try to avoid becoming the first team since Spain in 2005 to lose in the first round having won the competition the previous year. They have a good record against Switzerland, having won six of the eight meetings between the two nations.

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