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Berdych, Stepanek lift Czechs back to Davis Cup final

The Czechs went for the dagger on Saturday, inserting Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek into the doubles lineup, and the duo came through with a straight-set victory to send the defending Davis Cup champs back to the final.

Stepanek and Berdych gave the Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Argentina in the best-of-five tie with singles wins on Friday, then took the place of scheduled doubles starters Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely to put the finishing touches on the semifinal triumph with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 Saturday throttling of Carlos Berlocq and Horacio Zeballos.

The Czechs own an insurmountable 3-0 lead and will play the winner between Serbia and Canada in November's Davis Cup final. The Czech Republic captured its first Davis Cup crown last year by beating perennial powerhouse Spain in the final.

"It's definitely very exciting," said Stepanek after the match. "It's special for the whole country. It never gets old. We would like to keep the trophy."

Argentina, meanwhile, came up short again. The nation has never won a Davis Cup and has finished as the runner-up four times.

Berdych and Stepanek were in control throughout on Saturday, breaking serve once in each of the first two sets and twice in the third. The tandem saved the only two break points against their serve and improved to 13-1 in Davis Cup doubles play.

The Czechs, since becoming an independent nation, improved to 3-1 all-time against Argentina, including last year's semifinal triumph in Buenos Aires.