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Czechs beat Swiss in longest-ever Davis Cup match

Photo: Valentin Flauraud/Reuters

The Czechs eventually won their 13th chance at match point to take the win for their country.

GENEVA (AP) -- In the longest match in Davis Cup history, the Czech Republic beat Switzerland in a doubles epic lasting 7 hours, 2 minutes on Saturday.

Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol eventually took their 13th match-point chance to edge Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 24-22.

The defending champion Czechs took a 2-1 lead in the Davis Cup first round when Chiudinelli served a double fault. The deciding set alone lasted 215 minutes.

The previous longest Davis Cup match was 6 hours, 22 minutes for John McEnroe's victory for the United States against Sweden's Mats Wilander in 1982. Then, no tiebreakers were played in McEnroe's 9-7, 6-2, 15-17, 3-6, 8-6 marathon win.

Berdych and Wawrinka are due back after a 16-hour break to begin the reverse singles from Sunday lunchtime on the indoor hard court.

"I feel physically and mentally tired," said Wawrinka, joking that he might have some beers and an ice bath to recover.

The sixth-ranked Berdych, who missed several chances to end the match, threw his arms out wide and broke into a big smile when Chiudinelli's second serve at 30-40 was long.

Berdych and Rosol then hugged as the Palexpo Arena spectators stood to applaud the players.

The Czechs wasted their first match-point chance at 8-7 when Berdych netted a forehand after all four players were drawn into playing shots at the net.

Berdych wasted two more with wayward forehands at 16-15, and the Czechs held another five at 20-19.

In Wawrinka's next service game, down 22-21, the Swiss fell behind 0-40 before reeling off five straight points to extend the match.

If the 17th-ranked Swiss beats Berdych, the decider is scheduled to pit Rosol against Henri Laaksonen.

Roger Federer is skipping the Davis Cup this season to rest more between tournaments.

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