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22 January 2014

Stepanek to receive Davis Cup Commitment Award


Photo: Martin SidorjakRadek Stepanek (CZE)

Having won the deciding point in the last two Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals it only seems right that Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek should be winning another award when he takes to the court in Ostrava on 31 January.

The 35-year-old veteran of the game played in his 20th Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie at last year's final and so joins an esteemed list of players to win the Davis Cup Commitment Award.

“It will be great because I think that award show much we did as a team,” explained Stepanek, who was nominated to play for Czech Republic against Netherlands on Tuesday.

“We made history for our country. You are getting that award for 20 ties, but for me is more important that we have the trophy and that we’ve won it for the last two years and I have it at home.

“We have all this emotion and all these feelings because of the hard work we have done for it. That’s something that will stay with us until the end of our lives.”

Stepanek made his debut in the same city where he will be rewarded for playing in 20 ties, when he took on Russia in Ostrava in 2003 and lost both his singles matches in five sets against Mikhail Youzhny and Nikolay Davydenko.

He remembers it being a “horrible feeling” because he was “giving absolutely everything” but felt that for all of his tough losses he can draw on the joy of winning the last two Davis Cup Finals.

Other notable players to join the Davis Cup Commitment club following the next round of ties include none other than Australian Open semifinalist Stanislas Wawrinka.

The in-form Swiss made his debut in 2004 and lost his first tie against Victor Hanescu. He has continued to play every year since and joins fellow Swiss players Roger Federer, Heinz Gunthardt, Jakob Hlasek, Marc Rosset and Roland Stadler in winning a Commitment Award.

There are a further five players lined up to reach the Commitment Award milestone, with Canada’s Frank Dancevic, Japan’s Go Soeda, Kuwait’s Mohammad Ghareeb, Mexico’s Miguel Gallardo-Valles and Slovak Republic’s Michal Mertinak all included in Tuesday’s nominations.

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CZE Flag Czech Republic v Netherlands NED Flag 31 Jan 2014 - 2 Feb 2014 View details




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