For the second straight year, the Czechs have won the Davis Cup trophy, this year defeating the host team Serbia, 3-2.
The Serbian team was hamstrung by the losses of Janko Tipsarevic (injury) and Victor Troicki (serving a ban for missing a drug test), forcing them to play the unknown No. 117-ranked Dusan Lajovic in two of the singles matches. Having the world No. 2 Novak Djokovic on their side was not enough for Serbia to repeat their 2010 victory.
For the Czech Republic, it was again their stalwarts, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, who were the two-man show all weekend, as they had been in defeating Spain this time last year. When the teams split the singles rubbers on Friday, the Czech’s decided to press Berdych-Stepanek, a proven combination (14-1 total Davis Cup record as a doubles team) into service again on Saturday, when it seemed that the doubles might decide the eventual winner, given the weakness and inexperience of Lajovic. Somewhat controversially, Djokovic was not substituted in to play with Nenad Zimonjic (at 37, the oldest man ever to play in a Davis Cup final), who teamed with Ilija Bozoljac, in what was indeed a losing effort against the crafty Czech pair. Today, Djokovic defeated Berdych to assure a live rubber for the 5th match. And just as he did last year, Stepanek clinched for his team.
Novak Djokovic d. Radek Stepanek: 7-5, 6-1, 6-4
Tomas Berdych d. Dusan Lajovic: 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
Berdych/Stepanek d. Bozoljac/Zimonjic: 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (4)
Djokovic d. Berdych: 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-2
Stepanek d. Lajovic: 6-3, 6-1, 6-1
Photo credit: elPadawan (Creative Commons License)