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Berdych, Stepanek to lead Czech title defense against Serbia

Reuters
Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych (L) celebrate their victory over France's Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra in Ostrava
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Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych (L) celebrate their victory over France's Richard Gasquet …

PRAGUE (Reuters) - World number seven Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek will lead the Czech Republic when the title holders take on Serbia in the Davis Cup final in Belgrade on November 15-17.

The Czechs will face a tough task in their bid for back-to-back titles, facing second-ranked Novak Djokovic and his team mates in front of the same home fans who roared Serbia to their first Davis Cup trophy in 2010.

"We know we are going on to hot ground, that it will be wild and that we have to concentrate on our performance," Stepanek told a news conference, according to CTK news agency.

"We are going there with a single reason: to win three points."

The 34-year-old Stepanek secured the Czechs' first Davis Cup title since 1980 a year ago in Prague by winning the decisive rubber to lead his team to a 3-2 win over Spain.

Lukas Rosol and Jan Hajek will join Stepanek and Berdych on the Czech squad but team captain Jaroslav Navratil is sure to rely heavily on his top two players again.

The Czech duo played in every live rubber in the title run last year and teamed up for the first time this year to power their nation to victory against Argentina in the semi-final in Prague in September.

Both Berdych and Djokovic will be in action at the ATP World Tour finals in London next week.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by Martyn Herman)

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