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Berdych and Stepanek Move On to the Doubles Final at Legg Mason Tennis Classic

In the doubles semifinals in Washington, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek regrouped after dropping a contested first set to edge out the fourth seed Julian Knowle and Andy Ram 5-7,6-2,10-4.

After ousting the top seed Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic,  Berdych and Stepanek got a walkover into the semifinals. Subsequent to Ram and Knowle carrying the first set, the team’s failure in serving effectively, allowed the Czechs to dominate the rest of the match. In the super tiebreaker, Berdych and Stepanek took control to acquire their first berth in a doubles final on the ATP tour as a team.

Following their triumph, MiamiTennisNews was one of only three sources to sit down with the duos and discuss a variety of topics.  After his singles defeat, Berdych expressed his dissatisfaction with the manner in which he was treated as the top seed.

Post sleep and perhaps having reflected, MiamiTennisNews wanted to know his views since yesterday.  Berdych was ambivalent about participating next year.
Q.  The two of you had such tremendous crowd support for your match today.  How do you feel after what transpired yesterday?  Will today weigh more in terms of making a decision for 2011?
Berdych: I was quite sad yesterday.  [Today], I just wanted to go back on the court, try to win, play better tennis and enjoy it.  It’s not a question of the next day.  There’s still a year to go. . . I will think about it and see what to do next year . . .so it’s difficult to say right now.

Moreover, Berdych states that thus far his issues had not been taken under advisement nor had the appropriate authorities spoken to him on the subject.

Because of injuries and personal reasons, Stepanek has been absent from the court. In singles, he lost his first match out to Marco Chiudinelli.  MiamiTennisNews asked:
Q.  What are your thoughts on being in the final?
Stepanek:  It’s a great result for us as a team . . . We’ve always played together in Davis Cup, played great matches.  But, we’ve never been able to do so well at [the ATP level], so we are very please.  Especially for me, after being out for five months with [mononucleosis and knee injury] my first tournament, I’m in the final; it’s a great feeling even though it’s doubles.  I’m getting on the court, getting some matches, gaining confidence . . .so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s final.

Q. Are the two of you planning to play more doubles on the ATP tour as oppose to Davis Cup?
Stepanek:  No.  We always try to play a little before Davis Cup just to keep in touch.  The priority for both of us is still singles.  Tomas is now in the top ten and has a great chance to move up even more.  When we have a chance we will play, but not on a weekly basis.

Q.  Any thoughts on facing Serbia in the Davis Cup semifinals?
Stepanek:  Still a long way off.  It’s just nice to know that we are on the doubles court.  Everything is falling into place, going the right way.  We have the spirit and that’s the most important thing heading into Davis Cup after the U.S. Open.

In tomorrow’s final, Berdych and Stepanek will battle Mardy Fish and Mark Knowles.  The pair prevailed over Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-UI-Haq Qureshi 7-5,7-5.  In the quarterfinals, Bopanna and Qureshi surprised Bob and Mike Bryan, the world number two.

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