Prague: Radek Stepanek from the Czech Republic has been ruled out of the opening round of the Davis Cup against Kazakhstan after pulling out of a tournament due to illness.
Stepanek, who withdrew from this week's Delray Beach International Tennis Championships due to the flu, still has a fever and won't be able to recover for the best-of-five series on March 4-6 in Ostrava.
The loss is a blow for the Czechs because Stepanek has been expected to play singles and doubles, along with seventh-ranked Tomas Berdych.
Team spokesman Karel Tejkal says captain Jaroslav Navratil has called up doubles specialist Lukas Dlouhy to the team.
Tejkal says Jan Hajek, who withdrew from a match after feeling sick on Tuesday, is ready to play.
Jiri Vesely is also on the team.