Czechs pull to within one of Aussies at Davis Cup


Adam Pavlasek, front, returns as his partner Jiri Vesely, rear, tries to play. (Jaroslav Ozana/AP)

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — Jiri Vesely teamed with rookie Adam Pavlasek to win the doubles and reduce Australia’s lead over the Czech Republic to 2-1 in the first round of the Davis Cup on Saturday.

Vesely and Pavlasek twice came from a set down to overcome Lleyton Hewitt and Samuel Groth 1-6, 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 on the indoor hard court at CEZ Arena.

Pavlasek served out the match when Groth hit the net on their second match point.

"I believed all the time that we have a chance to win," Vesely said. "We were fighting and managed to come back."

The Aussies were 6-1, 3-0 up when Hewitt and Groth lost serve, allowing a Czech comeback.

In the final set, Groth lost his serve in the fifth game when he sent a forehand volley long. In the seventh game, he netted another volley to give the Czechs another break, and lost his temper, destroying his racket in anger.

Australia still is one win away from a quarterfinal against Italy or Kazakhstan. It hasn’t passed the first round in nine years.

Bernard Tomic can clinch the tie with a victory over Lukas Rosol in the first reverse singles on Sunday.

If Rosol wins, the tie will be decided in the final match between Vesely and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Australia took a commanding 2-0 lead on Friday when Kokkinakis upset Rosol 4-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3, and Tomic dispatched Vesely 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

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