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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Tennis

Stepanek 'Czechs' the Davis Cup box
AFP
Prague, November 19, 2012
First Published: 01:22 IST(19/11/2012)
Last Updated: 01:26 IST(19/11/2012)

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

Stepanek, the world number 37, beat 11th-ranked Almagro 6-4, 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.

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The Czech Republic were winning their first Davis Cup since gaining independence following a 1993 split with Slovakia. 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 serves until Stepanek capitalised on a single set point to break the Spaniard for a 6-4 win in the first set.


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