Czech Republic is Davis Cup champion again

The Czech Republic successfully defends its Davis Cup title by finishing off host Serbia 3-2 on Sunday. Radek Stepanek wins the clinching point for a second straight year.

When asked where this ranked among his career highlights, Radek Stepanek answered, “The highest.”

Stepanek then clarified that it is tied with what he accomplished this same weekend last year. After all, it was Davis Cup deja vu for Stepanek and the Czech Republic. The defending champions, who beat Spain in the 2012 championship tie, successfully defended their title with a 3-2 triumph over Serbia in Belgrade.

Once again, it was Stepanek who capped off the victory with a win in a decisive fifth rubber. The 34-year-old, a winner over Nicolas Almagro last season, took care of underdog Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 on Sunday afternoon. Stepanek needed just one hour and 52 minutes to secure a third title in the Czechs’ Davis Cup history.

Overall, the tie went entirely as expected–with Serbia winning Novak Djokovic’s two singles matches and losing the other two (Lajovic was a replacement for both Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki). Ultimately, doubles was the true decider. The Serbs tried to come up with an answer for Stepanek and Tomas Berdych, but teaming up Ilija Bozoljac instead of Djokovic with Nenad Zimonjic did not turn out to be the answer.

Aside from Djokovic, who finished 2013 on a 24-match winning streak after cruising past Berdych in Sunday’s opener, Serbia was far from its best throughout the weekend. But captain Bogdan Obradovic gave credit where credit was due.

“You are either going to rise up and play your best tennis or the player in front of you is going to do the same thing,” Obradovic explained. “In this moment Stepanek played maybe even the best tennis that he has played in his life. He played a perfect match.”

“I don’t think words can describe it,” Stepanek added. “To defend this trophy means the world for us right now. For our country, waiting 32 years for a second title, now we are one of the five countries who have been able to defend a title.

“We made history today.”

11 Comments on Czech Republic is Davis Cup champion again

  1. Losing both Troicki and Tipsaravic was a huge blow but they were still toted as favourites to win, no? At least up until the moment they lost the crucial doubles match that is.

  2. He acquitted himself well didn’t he. Poor lad look devastated though after the last rubber. Noticed too Zimonjic was in tears during the presentation. They all took the loss very hard. I remarked on the other thread they looked like men being led to the gallows as they filed onto the podium.

  3. Since I am hyper critical of so many TV tennis commentators I want to say that IMO Barry Millns and Nick Lester did an excellent job during the DC matches.

  4. Well Done, Radek.

    Frankly, I don’t think Tipsa or Victor would have had any better chances against Stepanek. Novak is angry because he thinks Victor would have been an asset in the DC, but I beg to differ.

  5. —Lajovic was a replacement for both Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki. Ultimately, doubles was the true decider.—

    J.Tipsarevic and V.Troicki wouldn’t have helped. In the 2012 DC quarterfinals, T.Berdych defeated both V.Troicki and J.Tipsarevic, and L.Rosol (who is loved by Fedfans) defeated V.Troicki. T.Berdych & R. Stepanek defeated N. Zimonjic & I.Bozoljac 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(4).

  6. Nadline: You’re right. It is highly unlikely eitherTipsy or Troicki would have altered the outcome.

    Tipsarevic has been on a slippery downwards slide since failing to win a single match at the WTF last year. He was hailed as a hero at the DC semi-finals but he still had to struggle to hold off an exhausted and vastly less experienced Pospisil. I reckon Lajovic fared better than he would have done against Steps on Sunday. Steps was a man with a mission that day.

  7. http://www.daviscup.com/en/news/161449.aspx

    “Czech Republic will end the year as the top-ranked Davis Cup nation for the first time in its history after securing back-to-back titles following the 3-2 victory over Serbia at the weekend.

    The Czechs replaced Spain, which has held the year-end No. 1 ranking for each of the past four years, at the top of the rankings following the first round of World Group ties this year. Successive wins against Kazakhstan, Argentina, and, of course, Serbia, have seen them hold on to the top spot with relative ease throughout 2013.”

    Well done Czechs!

  8. It’s extraordinary when you consider the populations of Serbia and the Czech Republic are each less than the population of the London Metropolitan Area and the huge upheavals both countries have been through in recent times. Little wonder they are both so fiercely proud and patriotic.

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