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Berdych sends champion Czechs into Davis Cup quarters

Tomas Berdych beat Stanislas Wawrinka in Sunday's first reverse singles rubber to give the reigning champion Czech Republic an insurmountable 3-1 lead over Switzerland in their best-of-five opening-round Davis Cup tie.

The Czechs settled for a 3-2 victory this week and will visit Kazakhstan for a quarterfinal in April.

The world No. 6 Berdych was tested by the 17th-ranked Wawrinka en route to a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) decision in 3 hours, 15 minutes on the indoor hardcourt at Palexpo. Berdych broke Wawrinka's serve three times, while the disappointed Swiss slugger settled for two breaks on Day 3.

The former Wimbledon runner-up Berdych and Wawrinka battled in the longest- ever Davis Cup match on Saturday, when Berdych paired with Lukas Rosol to outlast a Swiss tandem of Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli in five sets in a record 7-hour, 1-minute war of attrition, which included an epic 24-22 fifth set.

Wawrinka extended his run of hard-luck losses this year. He also succumbed to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 12-10 in the fifth set at the Australian Open in a match that lasted 5 hours, 2 minutes last month.

A dead rubber on Sunday saw Swiss Henri Laaksonen beat Czech Jiri Vesely 0-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Switzerland played without the legendary Roger Federer this week, as the 17- time Grand Slam champion opted against playing for his country this time around.

The Czech Republic, which beat Spain in last year's Davis Cup final, is now 2-1 all-time versus Switzerland and has won the last two meetings.