Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Radek Stepanek collapses with emotion after winning the Davis Cup for the Czech Republic
Radek Stepanek collapses with emotion after winning the Davis Cup for the Czech Republic
The winning Czech Republic team with the Davis Cup: Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych, captain Jaroslav Navratil, Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol
The winning Czech Republic team with the Davis Cup: Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych, captain Jaroslav Navratil, Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol

Tearful Stepanek writes history for Czech Republic after Davis Cup win

Czech veteran Radek Stepanek paid tribute to the inspirational 1980 Czechoslovakia team as he guided the Czech Republic to its first global crown since independence in 1993.

Radek Stepanek admitted guiding the Czech Republic to a historic Davis Cup victory over Spain was a dream come true.

The veteran, ranked 37th in the world, beat Nicolas Almagro to secure the decisive rubber and hand the Czechs their first global crown as an independent nation since the former Czechoslovakia split in 1993.

It also made the Czech Republic the first country to win the Davis Cup and Fed Cup team trophies for men and women respectively and the mixed Hopman Cup event in one year.

"I was dreaming about it my whole life and now we're standing here as Davis Cup champions, it's amazing," said Stepanek, ranked 37 in the world, after clinching the 100th Davis Cup final.

"We've written history today in our country. I can't describe what I'm feeling right now."

Stepanek admitted the weekend was particularly special due to the fact the 1980 Davis Cup-winning Czechoslovakia team - including Ivan Lendl - were cheering them on.

"For us it's amazing, they've been our inspiration and our idols. They are legends, and now we are joining them," he added.

His teammate Tomas Berdych, who lost in straight sets to David Ferrer, was equally delighted.

"There are no words to say," he said. "Undescribable. This is the best thing that can be."

33-year-old Stepanek was left in tears after beating Almagro, ranked 26 places higher than him, 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 in a near four-hour encounter in Prague.

"I came on the court with the mindset that I had to stay calm, hungry, motivated and concentrate," he said afterwards.

"I was playing very aggressively today. I wanted to be the one who was active, who was controlling the game and it paid off."

His opponent said Spain could leave with their heads held high after taking the Czechs down to the wire.

"These are very tough moments," Almagro said. "But we can't be down on ourselves in any way as we fought to the last moment.

"We are runners-up in the Davis Cup, not what we wanted as we came here to win the title but we are leaving with our heads held high knowing that we did a good job."

Ferrer summed up the mood in the Spanish team, despite his own victory over Berdych, afterwards.

"We're sad at the moment. The Czechs were better than us."

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National