Almaty, Kazakhstan - Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic put the defending champions into the Davis Cup semi-finals with a tough win over Kazakhstan's Evgeny Korolev at Astana on Sunday.
Rosol, who is 63rd in the ATP rankings, won 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 his first ever head-to-head meeting with the 25-year-old Korolev in three hours 34 minutes to give his team an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie.
Both players started cautiously, trying to avoid unnecessary risks, before Rosol snatched the opening set tie-break.
In the second set Korolev, who is 187th in the world, broke in the sixth game but Rosol broke back in the ninth to set up another tie-break, which Korolev won to level at one set all.
The third set was almost a carbon copy of the second as Korolev grabbed the lead in the fifth game, while Rosol levelled in the 10th. But this time the 27-year-old Czech was more precise in the tie-break to clinch a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set Rosol underlined his clay supremacy, breaking his rival's serve twice to win the set, the match and a place in the semi-finals for his team.
On Friday Rosol and Jan Hajek gave Czech Republic a commanding 2-0 lead beating Andrey Golubev 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 and Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 respectively.
On Saturday Kazakhstan's pair of Golubev and Yuriy Schukin reduced the arrears with a straight-set win 7-6, 6-4, 6-3 over the Czech pair Hajek and Radek Stepanek.