2012 Davis Cup results: Stepanek's victory clinches cup for Czech Republic

Clive Brunskill

The Czech Republic wins its second-ever Davis Cup title after Radek Stepanek's four-set victory over Nicolas Almagro in the decisive fifth match.

Radek Stepanek's decisive four-set victory over Spain's Nicolas Almagro, 6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, clinched the 2012 Davis Cup for the Czech Republic, as the Czechs topped the Spaniards in the Davis Cup final, three matches to two.

Stepanek's victory ended a thrilling final, which went the five-match distance after Spain's David Ferrer dominated the Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych, 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, to force a deciding fifth match in the best-of-five series. Ferrer, who won a career-high seven tournaments on tour this season, helped even a Davis Cup final that the Czechs were on the verge of clinching. Ferrer ended up winning the only two matches the Spaniards could claim in the Davis Cup final.

Stepanek's victory over Almagro started with a powerful first set that saw the two combatants trading shots and keeping pace with each other until Stepanek finally broke Almagro in the 10th and deciding game of the set to claim an early lead.

The two were on serve again in the second set before Almagro broke Stepanek on his way to a 4-2 lead in the set. But Stepanek was unfazed, and the 37th-ranked singles player ran off three straight games and forced a tiebreaker in which he held Almagro scoreless in a 7-0 tiebreaker win to grab the second set.

After Almagro stormed to a big lead and claimed the third set, Stepanek put away Almagro in the fourth set. Stepanek had match point up 5-2, but Almagro forced him to serve for the match himself, which he did.

The Davis Cup victory is the Czech Republic's second-ever title (the other coming in 1980) after the Czechs were the runners-up in the 2009 Davis Cup.

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