Astana, Kazakhstan – Jan Hajek and Lukas Rosol were singles winners Friday, as the reigning champion Czech Republic opened a commanding 2-0 lead over Kazakhstan in their Davis Cup quarterfinal.
Hajek was first on the indoor clay court for the Czechs and he cruised to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin. Rosol followed with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) triumph over Andrey Golubev to put the Czechs within one more win of a trip to the semifinals.
The Czechs are playing this weekend without their top star, injured world No. 6 Tomas Berdych, who's out with a shoulder problem. Radek Stepanek is on the squad for the best-of-five tie, but he has been slowed by a back injury and was kept out of the singles action Friday.
Stepanek was not needed on Day 1, but he is scheduled to play in Saturday's doubles with Ivo Minar. The duo is set to take on Evgeny Korolev and Yuriy Schukin.
Sunday's reverse singles are currently slated to pit Rosol against Kukushkin and Hajek against Golubev.
Kazakhstan is playing in the World Group quarterfinals for the second time in three years after beating Austria in the first round back in February. The Kazakhs were swept by Argentina in the 2011 quarters after beating the Czechs in the first round that year to reach this stage for the first time.
The winner this weekend will meet the Argentina-France victor in the semifinals in September.
The Czechs, who beat Switzerland in the first round in February, toppled mighty Spain in last year's final in Prague.