|Posted on November 16, 2012 at 12:00 AM|
DAVIS CUP WORLD GROUP FINAL PREVIEW
by ATP Staff | 15.11.2012
ATPWorldTour.com previews the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final, which begins 16 November 2012.
CZECH REPUBLIC vs SPAIN
Prague, Czech Republic (Hard – Indoors)
The draw for the 100th Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final was made Thursday afternoon in Prague at the Municipal House.
Radek Stepanek will open play for the host Czech Republic against World No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain, and will be followed by sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych against 11th-ranked Nicolas Almagro. Recent Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez headline the doubles rubber for the Spanish team and are slated to face Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol on Saturday.
The Czech Republic is looking to win its first title since 1980, while Spain is seeking its fourth crown in five years, having lifted the trophy in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Spain rolled over the Czechs in a 5-0 whitewash on clay to capture the 2009 title, but this time, the two countries will square off on indoor hard. Ferrer reflected on Spain's win three years ago, when he outlasted Stepanek in a pulsating five-set rubber.
“It was a very emotional match,” Ferrer said. “It was a really close match. I won in five sets. That was my second Davis Cup [title] and first one at home in Spain, and one of the best moments of my career.”
The Czechs are approaching the meeting differently this time around, believing they have what it takes to win.
“The final in Barcelona, we were in completely a different position and all that was against us. [It's] now going to be on our side,” said Berdych. “It’s still on us players to go there and fight for the three points. We will do everything we possibly can to get those three points.”
Berdych was the hero for the Czech Republic in the semi-finals, winning both his singles rubbers and the doubles point with Stepanek to lead the Czechs to a road victory over Argentina. He won two ATP World Tour indoor titles this season, in Montpellier and Stockholm.
Ferrer and Almagro are a combined 9-0 in Davis Cup action this year, but all three of their previous ties in 2012 have been contested on clay at home. Ferrer finished the season with a tour-leading seven trophies, highlighted by triumphing at his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris, an indoor-hard court tournament.
Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych, Captain Jaroslav Navratil
Tomas Berdych seen during the International Tennis Federation Davis Cup final draw ceremony on November 15, 2012 in Prague. The Davis Cup final, Czech Republic against Spain, is scheduled from November 16 till 18, 2012
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ATP Homepage of Thursday, November 15, 2012
Czech Republic vs. Spain (Indoor Hard):The host Czechs will look to lift its first trophy since 1980, while Spain bids for its fourth crown in five years. This year’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final might be the 100th in the competition’s illustrious history and it might be a re-match of the 2009 clash, but it is not about going down in history and it’s not about revenge. It’s all about winning.“The final in Barcelona we were in completely a different position and all that was against us is now going to be on our side,” said Czech No. 1 Tomas Berdych, who was on the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona in 2009. “It’s still on us players to go there and fight for the three points. We will do everything we possibly can to get those three points.”With the Czech Fed Cup team having won in this very same arena just two weeks ago, the home nation’s fans are hopeful and possibly even a little bit expectant that the men can cement their country’s place in the history books by becoming the first team to win Hopman Cup, Fed Cup and Davis Cup in the same year.
Members of Czech Republic Davis Cup team Ivo Minar, Lukas Rosol, Radek Stepanek, captain Jaroslav Navratil and members of the Spanish Davis Cup team captain Alex Corretja, David Ferrer , Nicolas Almagro , Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez pose for media after the International Tennis Federation Davis Cup final draw ceremony on November 15, 2012 in Prague. The Davis Cup final, Czech Republic against Spain, is scheduled from November 16 till 18, 2012.
Member of the Spanish Davis Cup team David Ferrer poses with member of Czech Davis Cup team Tomas Berdych after the International Tennis Federation Davis Cup final draw ceremony on November 15, 2012 in Prague.
Berdych and Stepanek led the Czechs to victories against Italy, Serbia and Argentina on the way to the final. They hope to give their country its first Davis Cup title as an independent nation, having split from Czechoslovakia in 1993. Czechoslovakia won its only title in 1980, when Ivan Lendl led the team to victory.
DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS WORLD GROUP FINAL: SPAIN v CZECH REPUBLIC
November 15, 2012
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, let me welcome here the Czech team for the second of today's press conferences. We will start with the international press conference in English, please.
Q. Tomas, you played a Grand Slam final, you won a Masters Series. Is it the biggest match, biggest moment, of your career so far?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I would say so far it's the biggest thing, that's for sure.
But the other hand in tennis you have not only one single goal to try to achieve: one is to try to win a Grand Slam, one is to become No.1 player in the world, one is to win Davis Cup.
Now all the Czech team is in the final trying to win the trophy. So far is the biggest moment in my career.
Q. Tomas, it's already been a very successful year for Czech tennis. Will you draw some inspiration from the women's team here in Prague?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I don't think that we even need some inspiration to looking around. I mean, we have enough. Once we made the team together with Radek and the other guys a couple years ago, that was our goal, to bring the trophy back to Czech after so many years.
Right now it's our second attempt. Now we're going to play at home. I don't think we need any more inspiration to that.
Q. Tomas and Radek, in tennis, it's an individual game, so you have to be quite egocentric. How easy is the adjustment to be part of a team when you play for yourself all the year?
RADEK STEPANEK: In our team it's very easy. We don't have that much opportunities to play for the team. As you said, the whole year we are there by ourselves, winning, losing. You have your team to share it.
Here is different. Here if you win or lose, you have your team in your back. The next guy is going on the court to fight for another point. The transformation, it takes just few minutes when we all get back together because we see each other throughout the tournament.
You know, the transformation is very, very easy. We're enjoying time being together, being as a team, doing everything together as a team, building our spirit always, which has been great since the beginning.
It's fun to be with the guys and be around.
TOMAS BERDYCH: Yeah, there is not much to add. I think he just said pretty much everything.
Q. Jaroslav, did you think about saving Radek for day two and day three and playing Lukas on day one?
CAPTAIN NAVRATIL: Sure, why not? I mean, Radek is ready for all three days. Like always, we're playing from the first round. All the season they playing singles and doubles together.
In the finals, for sure I was little think about Lukas. But still, you know, this is the finals. For my side, Radek is at the time for sure better player, and also he's playing on Friday, important for the Saturday doubles. If you're playing singles, it's much better than just practicing.
Q. Tomas, you said that Nicolas Almagro is the weakest link in the Spanish table. You already defeated him several times this year. Do you feel you just can't lose this match on Friday?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, no, no. I don't know from where is that coming, that I said he is the weakest part. He is definitely not. I would never say this about a player that has been in the top 10. He's just, I don't know, one or two spots behind that. He's a great player.
Definitely not. It's a part of such a strong Spanish team who are able to get to the final even when they did not have Rafa in the team.
Definitely not. It's going to be very hard, very hard match for me, as well. Even that we play five matches this year against each other, all of them is going to be erased and we going to start from zero again.
As I said, you know, every time the Davis Cup change all the historic results. Now in the final it's going to be even more. So I'm expecting very hard one tomorrow.
Q. Three years ago when you lost in the final in Barcelona, did you think the dream had gone? Did you have a chat, Tomas and Radek, saying: Can we keep this dream alive?
RADEK STEPANEK: Yeah, definitely. It was a hard moment for us, you know, being so close, but in the same moment we been too far during the matches.
When we got together in 2007 here in Prague for the match against Switzerland, we said that it's our dream to win the trophy. Even we've been in the finals and lost it, we know if we keep doing what we're doing, maybe the other chance going to come. We've been working very hard for that.
Now here we are, you know, sitting with our second chance to win the trophy. We will definitely put everything on the line, our hearts, to win the trophy. In three, four days we will have a full answer for you.
Q. Radek and Tomas, how concerned are you about the improvement in Spain's doubles team?
RADEK STEPANEK: I think definitely to win the Masters is a huge achievement. But tomorrow when the matches will start, everything is going to be leave behind. It's going to be the power of the moment.
You know, definitely they will come with a lot of confidence. But first of all, we have to concentrate on our singles tomorrow. That's the most important thing. Then what's going to be happening the next day is going to be happening.
You know, we are ready to fight for every single point, no matter if it's singles or doubles, and let's see.
Q. You will have incredible home support, Tomas. Will that help you or put more pressure on you to lift the trophy?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, definitely it's going to be just for us I hope really helpful once I'm going to step into the arena. As Radek said, I said it many times, as well, the crowds are our unofficial part of the team. They always help us a lot. They always make the great atmosphere to us. This is why you play tennis, you know, to play against such a good crowd. It's not going to be different here.
So, no, I just see that this is going to be our advantage. I have those experiences comparing to the final in Barcelona where we played in completely different situation than now.
Yeah, I hope it's going to be way better.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports