Czechs bounce Japan to reach Davis Cup semi-finals
Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic (L) makes a high five with Lukas Rosol (R) during their Davis Cup tennis 2014 World group quarter-final match against Japan's Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama pair in Tokyo on April 5, 2014 - by Toshifumi Kitamura
Radek Stepanek and Lukas Rosol beat Tatsuma Ito and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in front of the Japanese emperor and empress to set up a clash with either France or Germany from September 12-14.
The Czech pair, who both won their singles matches on Friday, bowed politely from the baseline after Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko took their seats behind them as they led by a set and 5-4.
They showed no mercy, however, Stepanek ripping a forehand which Uchiyama could only dump into the net to leave Japan two sets down and with a mountain to climb.
The Czechs, who have taken the trophy in the past two years, secured victory when a Rosol bullet fizzed past Ito's racquet and landed flush on the baseline, rendering Sunday's reverse singles as dead rubbers.
Japan's hopes of toppling the two-time defending champions had been severely jolted by Kei Nishikori's withdrawal through injury, although the visitors were also missing world number five Tomas Berydch, who opted not to play.