Czechs put Hajek in key Davis Cup position

March 3, 2011 at 10:48 AM
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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic, March 3 (UPI) -- Czech player Jan Hajek was placed in the first and fifth matches of the best-of-five Davis Cup series between the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan.

The series opens Friday with a pair of singles matches on an indoor hard court at Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Hajek, ranked 101st in the world, is to face No. 43 Andrey Golubev in the opener Friday. He is also scheduled Sunday to go against Kazak Mikhail Kukushkin in what could be the series-deciding fifth match.

Between his appearances, however, the Czechs will be looking for world No. 7 Tomas Berdych to provide momentum. Berdych plays Kukushkin, ranked 63rd, in Friday's second match and the schedule has him opening Sunday's play against Golubev.

The doubles match Saturday features specialist Lukas Dlouhy, who is No. 7 in the doubles rankings. He will team with Jiri Vesely against Kazakhstan's Yuriy Schukin and Evgeny Korolev.

The series marks Kazakhstan's first appearance in Davis Cup World Group play. The Czech Republic was runner-up in 2009 and won the event as Czechoslovakia and 1980 after finished second in 1975.

The winning team in Ostrava heads to the quarterfinals in July against the survivor of a series between Argentina and Romania.

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