February 23, 2015

PRAGUE (AP) The Czech Republic will be without Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in the first round of the Davis Cup against Australia.

Berdych and Stepanek teamed up to beat Spain in the 2012 Davis Cup final and retained the title in 2013 by defeating Serbia.

The eighth-ranked Berdych has opted to focus on the ATP Tour this year after hiring Dani Vallverdu as his coach while Stepanek is not fit enough following an injury.

Lukas Rosol and Jiri Vesely were named Monday to play in the March 6-8 series on indoor hard courts in the eastern city of Ostrava. Rookies Adam Pavlasek and Jan Mertl are also in the Czech team.

The Czechs lost their only encounter against Australia as an independent nation in 1997.

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