11/18/12 8:20 PM | Kelli DeMario
Former world No. 8 Radek Stepanek gave Czech Republic a 3-2 championship victory, having held on to defeat Spain's Nicolas Almagro in four sets. The host nation won its first Davis Cup title since 1980.
Former world No. 8 Radek Stepanek won his second point of this weekend's tie with a four-set defeat of world No. 11 Nicolas Almagro. The veteran held all but two service games en route to a 6-4, 7-6(0), 3-6, 6-3 victory in three hours and 52 minutes.
After dropping the third set, Stepanek jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the fourth. The 33-year-old reached championship point at 5-2 on the Almagro serve, but was unable to convert. A second championship point came at 5-3 for Stepanek, who sealed the Davis Cup title as Almagro struck a backhand into the net.
"I was dreaming about it my whole life and now we're standing here as Davis Cup champions," said Stepanek. "It's amazing. I had a lot of chances in the second set. I was playing very aggressive today. I wanted to be the one who was more active.
"Even though I lost the third set, I had no doubt about my tactics. I came on the court with a mindset that I had to stay calm, hungry and concentrated. That's what I did tremendously well today."
Stepanek ended the match with three service breaks and 47 winners.
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