The 2012 champion Czech Republic and Switzerland are knotted at 1-1 in their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie in Geneva.
Stan Wawrinka gave the Swiss a 1-0 lead by cruising past Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 before world No. 6 Czech star Tomas Berdych evened the matchup with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 victory over spirited unknown Swiss Henri Laaksonen on Friday at Palexpo. Berdych improved to 23-12 in his career Davis Cup singles.
Rosol is taking the place of last year's Czech Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek, who was forced to miss this tie because of a back injury. Stepanek won the fifth and deciding rubber in last year's final between the Czech Republic and then-defending champion Spain.
And Swiss icon Roger Federer is not on hand to lead his squad this week, as the former world No. 1 star and 17-time Grand Slam king opted against playing for his country this time around.
Saturday's pivotal doubles bout tentatively pits a Swiss team of Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli against a Czech duo of Ivo Minar and Jiri Vesely, while Sunday's reverse singles call for Berdych to face the 17th-ranked Wawrinka and Rosol to take on the Finnish-born Laaksonen.
The Czechs are captained by Jaroslav Navratil, while the Swiss are piloted by Severin Luthi. The Czech Republic and Swiss have split two all-time matchups, with the Czechs winning their last tie six years ago in Prague.
The Czech Republic-Switzerland winner will meet the Austria-Kazakhstan victor in April.