The 33-year-old beat nicolas almagro 6-4, 7-6 (7-0), 3-6, 6-3 in 3:52 hours under the watchful eye of tennis idol ivan lendl. The czechs won the most important team title in tennis for the second time since 1980, when lendl led czechoslovakia to victory. In addition, two weeks after the women’s fed cup triumph, the czechs became the first nation since the united states in 1990 to achieve a team double. The spainans, on the other hand, missed their fourth triumph in five years without their injured superstar rafael nadal.
"I have dreamed of this my whole life. We stand here as davis cup champions. It’s wonderful, we’ve made history with our little country," said stepanek nine days before his 34th birthday. Birthday. "I can’t describe my feelings."
In the gripping and to the last ball change exciting 100. Davis cup final in the czech capital, the hosts had surprisingly taken a 2-1 lead after doubles. Tomas berdych and stepanek beat marcel granollers and marc lopez 3:6, 7:5, 7:5, 6:3. The day before, ferrer had put the spaniards in front with his opening win against stepanek, berdych had equalized against almagro to make it 1-1.
But when ferrer surprisingly won clearly against berdych on sunday and evened the score at 2:2, the guests from spain suddenly seemed to be at an advantage again. But the world number 37. Stepanek outdid himself against the number twelve in the world. Driven by the enthusiastic audience he managed the rare feat of 7:0 in the tiebreak of the second set, after 3:52 hours the buddy of tommy haas converted his second match point.
"That’s what makes the davis cup. Couldn’t be more exciting to watch," haas tweeted during the second round, and a little later congratulated his "neighbor radek and the whole czech team" via a short message service. "I can’t wait for it to finally start. I’ve been waiting for this moment my whole tennis life," haas’ doubles partner stepanek had said before the final match. His coup not only crowned his strong year, but also put him in the record books as the oldest player to win a deciding fifth match in a davis cup final since british james parke (31) in 1912.