Tomas Berdych is single-handedly carrying his Czech Republic team. Yesterday, in just under four hours he turned away a game Nicolas Almagro in five tough sets. Today, the Czech No. 1 returned to partner with Radek Stepanek to help put his country ahead 2-1 over Spain after a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the Davis Cup final.
“We know what we are capable to do in Davis Cup,” said Stepanek. “And we also know that the doubles points matter and we played together so many times, so we have all the experience we can have.”
After beating the London finals doubles champions, the Czechs, who have only only Davis Cup title that coming in 1980, now just need one win tomorrow in reverse singles against the mighty Spaniard who are without their ace Rafael Nadal.
“It’s incredible. It’s just one point. We’ll do everything for that,” said Berdych. “I’m ready to do it tomorrow. I’ll try to come with my strong game, and with the crowd on my back, it would be a good combination to make it.”
Berdych, who is a perfect 10-0 this year in Davis Cup play (7-0 in singles, 3-0 in doubles) can clinch it against David Ferrer, otherwise it will come down to Stepanek against Almagro in the decider.
The well-rested Ferrer, a straight set winner yesterday over Stepanek, has won five of eight career meetings with Berdych including four of the last five. But the two haven’t played since Berdych beat Ferrer at the London finals last year. Berdych will enter the match having playing nine of the maximum 10 sets the last two days.
And if necessary, Stepanek does lead Almagro 2-1 in their series but the Spaniard just won on the fast hardcourts at the US Open. Playing on Almagro’s nerves, Stepanek is already setting the stage.
“Yesterday he played very well against Tomas but they already had a point in their locker room so he played very freely,” Stepanek said of Almagro. “When it comes to the last rubber it will be a completely different story.””
The Czechs were bounced 5-0 in the 2009 Davis Cup final in Spain who have won the title three of the last four years.
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