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TENNIS

Czechs, Serbs reach World Team final

The Czech Republic and Serbia will square off in Saturday's best-of-three final at the World Team Cup tennis event, a final clay-court French Open tune-up.

The Czechs (3-0) secured their berth in the final with a tie-ending doubles victory over 2011 runner-up and 2010 champion Argentina in the four-nation round-robin Red Group.

After splitting a pair of singles rubbers over the last two days at Rochusclub, a Czech tandem of Radek Stepanek and Frantisek Cermak snuck past an Argentine duo of Carlos Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 10-3 on Friday. Earlier in the day, Mayer pulled Argentina (2-1) even with the Czechs with a 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 6-4 victory over Stepanek. On Thursday, former Wimbledon and recent Madrid Masters runner-up Tomas Berdych beat Berlocq 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3.

The last time the Czech Republic titled here was in 1981, when it was part of the former Czechoslovakia.

This week's other Red Group combatants were the four-time winner United States (1-2) and Japan (0-3).

The Serbs (3-0) captured the four-country Blue Group with a victory over the defending champion Germans (2-1).

Janko Tipsarevic gave 2009 champion Serbia an insurmountable 2-0 lead against Germany with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber. Viktor Troicki gave the Serbs a 1-0 lead on Thursday by handling Florian Mayer 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.

A meaningless doubles rubber saw a German tandem of Philipp Petzschner and Christopher Kas douse a Serbian duo of Marko Jankovic and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4, 6-4.

Germany captured a record-breaking fifth World Team title with victory over four-time champion Argentina a year ago.

Saturday's Czech Republic-Serbia final will open with a match between Berdych and Tipsarevic, and that will be followed by a bout between Stepanek and Troicki. The potentially-deciding doubles match will be announced later Saturday.

The other Blue Group participants this week were Russia (1-2) and Croatia (0-3). The Russians beat the former champion Croats 2-1, including a pair of wins on Friday when Alex Bogomolov Jr. leveled Lovro Zovko 6-4, 6-2 and a Russian pairing of Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov overcame a Croatian duo of Zovko and Ivan Dodig 2-6, 6-3, 10-3.