The Czech Republic beat Spain 3-2 in the best-of-five Davis Cup tennis final in Prague.
Czech Republic wins Davis Cup
It’s a job for two when the Czechs win Davis Cup finals.
Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek gave the Czech Republic the title for the first time as an independent nation by beating Spain 3-2 in the best-of-five final in Prague. Each spent about 10 grueling hours on court, playing the opening singles Friday, teaming up for the doubles Saturday and completing the reverse singles Sunday.
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Ivan Lendl and Tomas Smid did the same when Czechoslovakia defeated Italy 4-1 in the 1980 final.
“They’ve been our inspiration, our idols. They’re the legends and now we’re joining them,” Stepanek said after clinching the title with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-0), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Nicolas Almagro in the last reverse singles.
Stepanek is ranked 37th in the world and Almagro is ranked 11th.
“I’m living a dream,” said the 33-year-old Stepanek, who wept after the victory. “We have been working very hard for this moment. It was the biggest pressure under which I’ve ever played. Everything was at stake.”
Earlier Sunday, David Ferrer kept alive Spain’s hopes of winning a fourth Davis Cup title in five years by beating Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in the first reverse singles match to tie the final at 2-2.
The Czech Republic was swept 5-0 by Spain in the 2009 final in Barcelona.
Unterreiner has tough weekend
Stanford runner Miles Unterreiner’s busy Saturday included an injury in the NCAA meet and later learning he wasn’t selected for a prestigious Rhodes scholarship.
Unterreiner, a fifth-year senior from Gig Harbor, began his day in Louisville, Ky., where he placed 140th in the 6.2-mile race in 31 minutes, 3.2 seconds. A short time later, Unterreiner flew via private plane to Seattle to interview as a finalist for the Rhodes scholarship and a spot to study next year at Oxford University in England.
Stanford received an exception from the NCAA for Unterreiner’s travel because there were no commercial flights to get him to Seattle in time for the afternoon interviews.
“It was a terrific experience,” Unterreiner said. “All the other finalists were so incredible and it was such an honor having a chance to meet them this weekend. I also pulled my hamstring in the race and didn’t run well, so it was a pretty tough weekend.”
Unterreiner, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history with honors in the spring, was in Seattle on Friday for the first round of Rhodes meetings, then flew to Kentucky in time for Saturday’s race with the second-ranked Cardinal, which wound up a disappointing 16th in the meet.
Maryland mulls Big Ten option
Maryland’s Board of Regents is scheduled to meet Monday in Baltimore to discuss leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference — the Terrapins are charter members — and joining the Big Ten.
If Maryland applies for admission to the Big Ten, Rutgers is expected to follow suit and leave the Big East. The Big Ten, known for generating revenue, would expand to 14 schools.
Vonn returns to training
Lindsey Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion, resumed her giant-slalom training as she went through a series of gates on a course in her hometown of Vail, Colo. On Saturday, Vonn did a little freeskiing.
Vonn, 28, is getting back up to speed after missing time with an intestinal illness that put her in the hospital.
There is no decision whether Vonn will take part in World Cup giant-slalom and slalom races this weekend in Aspen, Colo.
“She didn’t lose her skills. Her skiing was right there,” U.S. women’s technical coach Roland Pfeifer said after the training session.
• Pete Rose‘s copy of the 1990 agreement in which he accepted a lifetime ban from baseball failed to sell at auction because no bid met the minimum.
Goldin Auctions officials said the highest bid was $236,000, a price that would have been raised to $258,600 including the auctioneer’s 10 percent fee. Bidding began Oct. 16 and ran through Saturday.
Ken Goldin said in an email, “I am working on selling it privately for the consignor.” The seller has not been identified, but Goldin said it is not Rose.
• Miami is planning to have Juan Pierre take a physical, amid reports the team agreed on a $1.6 million, one-year deal that would reunite it with the 35-year-old outfielder who was a Marlin from 2003 to 2005.
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