MOSCOW, November 19 (R-Sport) - The Czech Republic has lifted the Davis Cup for the first time after beating Spain in a tense 100th competition final in Prague.
The match went to the fourth set of the final rubber before Radek Stepanek’s 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3 win over Nicolas Almagro sealed a 3-2 win for the Czechs in front of their home crowd.
“I was dreaming about this my whole life,” Stepanek said, in comments on the Davis Cup website.
“I cannot describe what I am feeling right now. I was playing very aggressively today, I didn’t want to leave anything behind. I wanted to be the one who was active and controlling the game.”
Stepanek added he had been inspired by Czechoslovakia’s Davis Cup-winning team of 1980.
“They have been our inspiration, our idols. They’re legends and now we’re joining them.”
The hosts had been forced to come back from 1-0 down on Saturday when Stepanek was defeated by David Ferrer, who led the Spanish charge with straight-set wins in both of his rubbers.
Tomas Berdych evened the score with a five-set win over Almagro to leave the match poised at 1-1 at the start of play Sunday.
Berdych and Stepanek then teamed up to take down Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the doubles before Ferrer crushed Berdych to take the match to the final rubber.