Czech Republic leads Italy 2-0 in Davis Cup

Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek won the opening singles matches

Friday, sending the Czech Republic to a 2-0 lead over Italy in the

first round of the Davis Cup.

Stepanek had to dig deep to overcome Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-4,

6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Then, No. 7-ranked Berdych fought harder than

expected to defeat the 135th-ranked Simone Bolelli 6-3, 4-6, 7-5,

6-2.

The Czechs need one more victory to win the best-of-five series

in the World Group. They are expected to use Berdych and Stepanek

in Saturday’s doubles against Daniele Braccialli and Potito

Starace. Reverse singles are Sunday.

The winner will face Serbia or Sweden in the quarterfinals in

April.