May 19, 2013
Czechs move one win away from Davis Cup title
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek used a roaring home crowd to come back from a set down today, putting the Czech Republic 2-1 up over holders Spain and a win away from the Davis Cup title.
The Czech pair looked tired from the gruelling opening singles matches that finished late on Friday but overcame a slow start to triumph 3-6 7-5 7-5 6-3 over Spain's top duo.
Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, who became the first Spanish pair to win the doubles title at the ATP Tour Finals for 37 years on Monday, silenced the 14,000-strong crowd early on.
The Spanish cut short a Czech rally in a crucial seventh game that helped them cruise in the first set but the Czechs raced ahead in the second set to get the crowd going again and slowly take control.
"They play a very different style... (but) we got used to it and started to play our game," world number six Berdych told reporters.
"It is still not over. We still need one more point. We expect two hard matches tomorrow with very strong opponents. So we'll go one-by-one."
Berdych will hope to take that momentum into the first singles match on Sunday against fifth-ranked David Ferrer.
In the second match, Stepanek faces Nicolas Almagro, who pushed Berdych to the limit in the Czech number one's hard-hitting five-set win late on Friday.
A Czech win on Sunday would give the country its first Davis Cup crown in 32 years and end Spain's bid for a fourth title in five years.