• Czechs up to speed on Davis Cup court

    11/15/12 8:24 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Czechs up to speed on Davis Cup court Former great Ivan Lendl will be a special weekend guess for the Davis Cup final as his former nation, the Czech Republic, bid to stop Spain on what promises to be an ultra-fast indoor court in Prague.

    The surface is as much a tactic as the playing lineup for the hosts, who have only one Davis Cup trophy - earned as the former Czechoslovakia in 1980 - in the cabinet.

    Spain has been fearful in the run-up as to the precise speed of the hard court, which is designed to accommodate the games of local singles ace Tomas Berdych and colorful 33-year-old Radek Stepanek.

    Lendl, who has been an American for decades and now coaches Andy Murray from a Florida base, is hard-pressed to pick a favorite. "The result is hard to predict. It's a balanced clash. The Spaniards are strong, but our boys play well too."

    Berdych and Stepanek are likely to cover all the bases for the hosts in both singles and doubles as they have done all season, winning 11 of a dozen matches in the team game.

    Stepanek is chomping at the bit to play, even after a long season which saw both him and Berdych playing last week in London at the ATP World Tour Finals. "I can barely wait till Friday. I'm healthy. I hope my knee holds for the three days," said the veteran, who is married to former WTA player Nicole Vaidasova.

    "I thought the court was too slow," added Stepanek. "That's why we put on an extra layer. We chose the surface to suit our taste: no clay here."

    The Czechs will be hoping to do the double at home in front of 14,000 fans less than a fortnight after the women's Fed Cup team won that title over Serbia.

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