Stepanek the Hero in 3-2 Czech Davis Cup Win Over Spain
33-year-old Czech Radek “The Worm” Stepanek wriggled his way to a 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3 win over Nicolas Almagro in the deciding singles Sunday as the Czech Republic ousted powerhouse Spain 3-2 in the Davis Cup final.
“I’m living a dream,” said Stepanek, who couldn’t hold back the tears after winning. “We have been working very hard, very hard for this moment. It was the biggest pressure under which I’ve ever played. Everything was at stake.”
Stepanek employed his signature net-rushing and chipping and charging tactics on the indoor carpet in Prague.
“I was playing very aggressive today; I wanted be the one who is active, who is controlling the game,” Stepanek said. “It paid off, even though I lost the third set. I had no doubt I was on the way.”
Spain’s David Ferrer kept his team in the match earlier on Sunday, defeating Czech Tomas Berdych in straight sets to force a fifth and deciding match. Berdych and Stepanek won the doubles on Saturday over year-end Masters doubles winners Maecel Granollers and Marc Lopez.
“We’re sad at this moment,” Ferrer said. “I’m very proud of our team. We were fighting to win here in Prague.”
Spain in the end suffered from the loss of former No. 1 Rafael Nadal, sidelined with injury.
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