Davis Cup final: Radek Stepanek once again the man to seal title for Czech Repulic
Last Updated: 17/11/13 9:42pm
Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek team captain Vladimir Safarik, Lukas Rosol and Jan Hayek hold the trophy aloft
Radek Stepanek was delighted to create a piece of Davis Cup history after helping the Czech Republic defend their title with a 3-2 victory over Serbia.
Stepanek made sure his country would retain their grip on the trophy when he saw off the challenge of Dusan Lajovic in straight sets in the fifth and final rubber in Belgrade.
"We couldn't find the real replacement for the two, it was like playing tennis without one leg."
Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic
It meant the 34-year-old became the first player to ever decide finals in the decisive match, having done the same against Spain's Nicolas Almagro the previous year.
"I don't think words can describe it," he told British Eurosport.
"It's completely different than the first time and to defend this trophy means the world for us right now, for our country.
"We waited 32 years for our second title and now we are one of the five countries who've been able to defend it.
"And we did it playing in Serbia on their surface in front of their fantastic crowd, but thanks to our fans who've been with us no matter where we played we made history today."
Stepanek needed to pick up a point after Novak Djokovic had tied things up at 2-2 by beating Tomas Berdych earlier on Sunday.
However, Lajovic - ranked 117 in the world - couldn't complete the comeback for the hosts, who had lost the doubles on Saturday to leave themselves in trouble.
"I was fighting to my last breath, but obviously this wasn't enough," Lajovic said after going down 6-3 6-1 6-1.
"Of course, I am very disappointed. Right now I need to cool off my head and think what to do next."
Serbia captain Bogdan Obradovic said his team's chances of winning the title were crippled by the absence of the injured Janko Tipsarevic and the suspended Viktor Troicki.
"We couldn't find the real replacement for the two, it was like playing tennis without one leg," Bogdanovic said.
"Dusan is the young gun in our team. Hopefully he is going to use the energy from the team and some experiences from those two matches for his career, even if it wasn't a success."