PRAGUE: World number six Tomas Berdych will miss holders the Czech Republic’s Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan next weekend with an injured shoulder.
Berdych announced his decision to skip the April 5-7 tie in Astana on Friday, the day after his 6-3, 6-3 quarter-final loss to France’s Richard Gasquet at the Miami Masters.
“I woke up this morning and I quickly felt a deep pain in my shoulder. It was clear that I wouldn’t be able to play next week in Kazakhstan,” he wrote on the Czech Republic Davis Cup team’s Facebook page.
The Gasquet match had been “the last straw” said Berdych who has suffered from the same problem on and off in the past.
With Berdych out of the equation, the Czech Republic will be represented by Radek Stepanek, the world number 43 who underwent cervical disc surgery in January, Lukas Rosol (No.64), Jan Hajek (98) and Ivo Minar (245).
In February the Czechs, with Berdych but without Stepanek, beat Switzerland 3-1 in Geneva in the first round of their title defence.
Last November, Berdych and Stepanek led the Czech Republic to their first Davis Cup trophy since the country became independent in 1993, beating five-time champions Spain 3-2 in Prague.
The Spanish were stunned last month by Canada who now face Italy for a place in the semi-finals.
In the other quarter-finals the United States will meet 2010 champions Serbia, with Argentina up against France.