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Czech Republic dethrones Spain

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the long wait ends:The Czech Republic lifted its first Davis Cup as an independent nation, beating Spain in the final.— PHOTO: AP
the long wait ends:The Czech Republic lifted its first Davis Cup as an independent nation, beating Spain in the final.— PHOTO: AP

: The Czech Republic won the Davis Cup 3-2 after Radek Stepanek stunned Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the decisive rubber of the 100th final here on Sunday.

Stepanek, the World No. 37, beat 11th-ranked Almagro 6-4, 7-6 (0), 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 52 minutes on the hard court of Prague’s O2 Arena.

The Czech Republic lifted its first Davis Cup since gaining independence following a 1993 split with Slovakia. The former Czechoslovakia won the trophy in 1980.

The victory has also handed the Czechs a rare team double after its women lifted the Fed Cup here two weeks ago — a feat last achieved by the United States in 1990.

In Sunday’s key rubber, a wild home crowd of more than 14,000 fans was all that Stepanek needed to shake off the fatigue from Friday’s singles and Saturday’s doubles.

His game against a rested Almagro went with serve until Stepanek capitalised on a single set point to break the Spaniard for a 6-4 win in the first set.

Stepanek, combining patience with aggressivity, pulled off a series of winning volleys as he came back from 4-2 down in the second set.

He failed to convert four set points but then thrashed Almagro 7-0 in the tiebreak. Almagro fought back and held on to his serve to take the third set.

But Stepanek, red hot and propelled by the crowd, refused to bow and took the fourth and decisive set after breaking Almagro’s serve once again.

The results: Czech Republic 3 bt Spain 2 (Radek Stepanek lost to David Ferrer 3-6, 4-6, 4-6; Tomas Berdych bt Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3; Berdych & Stepanek bt Marcel Granollers & Marc Lopez 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3. Berdych lost to Ferrer 2-6, 3-6, 5-7; Stepanek bt Almagro 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3).


  • The Czech Republic became the first nation to simultaneously hold the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup


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