Czechs lead France 2-1 at Davis Cup

March 7, 2009 at 8:13 PM

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic, March 7 (UPI) -- A doubles victory by Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek Saturday gave the Czechs a 2-1 Davis Cup lead over France in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Berdych and Stepanek, late replacements for Lukas Dlouhy and Jan Hernych, topped Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil's decision to go with the experience of veterans Berdych and Stepanek paid off, putting his team in position to get a victory Sunday.

"We played an outstanding match," Berdych said. "It's a shame we lost the second set (but) we'd rather play doubles in a singles way and it has worked so far."

Sunday's deciding reverse singles have Stepanek playing Gilles Simon and Berdych against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The eventual winner faces Argentina in July's quarterfinals.

The Argentines have an insurmountable 3-0 lead over Netherlands.

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