Czechs Sweep Past Argentina in Red Group
Radek Stepanek arrived at the ARAG ATP World Team Championships undecided as to whether he would compete for the Czech Republic this week.
On current evidence the ATP Hamburg Masters Series finalist won’t need to play, as Robin Vik and Tomas Berdych stormed to an unassailable 2-0 lead over Argentina in Red Group round robin action at the Rochusclub Monday.
Vik record only his eighth win of the season exacting revenge on Gaudio, who beat the 26-year-old in Kitzbuhel last year.
Vik needed 91 minutes to beat the 2004 Roland Garros winner 7-6(5), 6-3. Afterwards Gaudio expressed his frustration, saying “I think I have to start again from scratch, that’s as bad as I’m playing at present. I am very frustrated and simply only bad on the court.”
This meant all eyes turned to reigning Tennis Masters Cup champion David Nalbandian, but despite holding a 2-0 career-record against Berdych, the Argentine lost 6-4, 6-4.
Nalbandian, who won the Estoril Open three weeks ago and has a 12-2 record on clay, led 4-1 in the second set.
Argentina were spared a 3-0 whitewash when Jose Acasuso and Sebastian Prieto won the doubles rubber over Tomas Berdych and Leos Friedl 6-0, 2-6, 10-3 (Match TB).
Earlier in the day Stepanek explained his decision, saying; “I played no fewer than twelve matches in the last two weeks, my body presently does not allow me to perform a hundred percent.”
Tournament physician Dr. Ulf Michaelis was forced to agree too, insisting: “He can’t play!”