Berdych and Stepanek lead Czechs in Davis Cup final

PRAGUE Tue Nov 6, 2012 6:26pm IST

Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic returns the ball during his quarter-final match against Gilles Simon of France at the Paris Masters tennis tournament November 2, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic returns the ball during his quarter-final match against Gilles Simon of France at the Paris Masters tennis tournament November 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

PRAGUE (Reuters) - World number six Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek will spearhead the Czech team when they take on Davis Cup holders Spain in this month's final in Prague.

Spain will be without Rafa Nadal, who led his country to a 5-0 rout over the Czech Republic in the 2009 final when the two sides last met but has long struggled with a knee injury.

The Czech Republic are looking for their first Davis Cup title since Czechoslovakia lifted the trophy in 1980.

They are also hoping to follow up the Czech women's Fed Cup final victory last weekend to make the country the first since 1990 to sweep both team tennis titles.

Lukas Rosol and Ivo Minar will back up Berdych, 27, and Stepanek, 33. The team's two best players have teamed up for the doubles match in all of the Czech ties this year.

Team captain Jaroslav Navratil stuck with the same squad that defeated Argentina in Buenos Aires in the semi-final.

"There is not a reason to change the team, it was fantastic in Argentina," he was quoted as saying by CTK news agency. "We are again close (to the title) but also still far away."

The November 16-18 final will be played on an indoor hardcourt, which Spain's coach said on Monday favoured the Czechs.

Right-handed Berdych lost his first match at the ATP World Tour Finals on Monday against world number three Andy Murray. He has a perfect record this year in the Davis Cup competition.

World number five David Ferrer will lead Spain's bid to claim their fourth Davis Cup title in five years.

(Reporting by Jason Hovet, editing by Mark Meadows)

Reuters Showcase

India Cricket Chief

India Cricket Chief

Former ICC boss Dalmiya returns as BCCI chief.  Full Article 

S&P on Budget

S&P on Budget

Budget shows commitment to keep fiscal deficit low - S&P.  Full Article 

New Phone

New Phone

Samsung unveils sleek new Galaxy phones to battle Apple.  Full Article 

MH370 Search

MH370 Search

Interview: Australia says hunt for missing MH370 jet may be called off soon.  Full Article 

Blogger's Murder

Blogger's Murder

Bangladesh says arrests main suspect in U.S. blogger Avijit Roy's killing.  Full Article 

England under Fire

England under Fire

Changes demanded after England's latest World Cup flop.  Full Article 

Anti-Putin Rally

Anti-Putin Rally

Anti-Putin protesters rally in New York after Nemtsov's murder.  Full Article 

Brit Awards

Brit Awards

Brit awards shake up British album chart, boost Sam Smith.  Full Article 

Lathmar Holi

In Pics: Lathmar Holi

Images of "Lathmar Holi" at Nandgaon in Uttar Pradesh.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage