Czechs beat Spain to se­cure Davis Cup win

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

PRAGUE

The Czech Repub­lic won the Davis Cup af­ter Radek Stepanek stunned Spain's Ni­co­las Al­ma­gro in the de­ci­sive rub­ber of the 100th fi­nal here.

Stepanek, the world num­ber 37, beat 11th-ranked Al­ma­gro 64, 7-6 (7/0), 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 52 min­utes in a clash of the teams' num­ber-two play­ers on the hard­court of Prague's O2 Arena.

The Czech Repub­lic lifted their 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 their 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.

"I came on the court with a mind­set that I have to stay calm, hun­gry, mo­ti­vated, con­cen­trated, and al­ways know what I'm do­ing.

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