Stepanek steers Czech Republic to Davis Cup final success
Left to right, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol, team captain Vladimir Safarik, Tomas Berdych and Jan Hayek of the Czech Republic hold the winner’s trophy aloft after beating Serbia in the Davis Cup World Group Final at Kombank Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. Photograph: Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images.
Radek Stepanek ensured the Czech Republic successfully defended their Davis Cup title as he claimed a straight-sets victory over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic to complete a 3-2 win in the final at Belgrade Arena.
The world number 44 became the first player to win consecutive fifth singles rubbers in the final after outclassing Lajovic.
Stepanek, who beat Nicolas Almagro in four sets in the fifth match of last year’s final – in which Czech Republic defeated Spain 3-2 – comfortably outplayed the young Serb to recorded a 6-3 6-1 6-1 triumph.
Earlier, Novak Djokovic made sure the final went to a fifth rubber as he saw off Tomas Berdych.
The world number two claimed a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 victory over the 28-year-old. The Czech Republic took a 2-1 lead on Saturday when Stepanek and Berdych needed beat Iliya Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic 6-2 6-4 7-6 (7/4).