Wow, what an impressive performance from Radek Stepanek to win the 100th Davis Cup final in the fifth rubber, with all the pressure from his home crowd firmly on his shoulders. There was a lot of talk about his advanced age of almost 34, but once again the 30-somethings are proving themselves, and Stepanek showed himself to have the mental toughness and the physical stamina to go four hard sets and take the victory from younger player Nicholas Almagro. And the way he was throwing himself around the court sacrificing his body was really rather inspirational!
I have to say that while I have gotten to be quite a David Ferrer fan over the last couple years for so many reasons, and while I most definitely will probably never be a Tomas Berdych fan, I still was pulling for the Czech team. Spain has gotten to win this thing quite a lot of time in the last few years and it just felt like it would have been rather anticlimactic for them to win it again. It was more of a feel good kind of story to have the Czech Republic win it in the same year that the women won the Fed Cup, having only won one previously title, and that 32 years ago. I have also gotten so that I really rather enjoy Radek Stepanek. It took me a while to get used to his rather bizarre looks, but now that I have it's fun to watch his old school style of play. And to be honest I think I got a bit attached to him when he did the worm on the court when he won his last title. But all that aside, I couldn't help but be happy for him that he was able to stay strong and serve out that final game, knowing how much it would mean to everyone involved. I can imagine the immense relief to get that last point and know he had carried his country to victory!
Well, that truly means that competitive tennis is done for 2012. We will continue to see some fun exhibitions over the next month-and-a-half I'm sure, but that's not the same. I will watch some old matches from this year and also some DVDs of Federer grand slam wins while I wait. But I already know how excited I will be as January rolls around and the Australian Open looms close. I have actually been close to tears on the first day of the AO, hearing the introductory music - that's how much tennis has come to mean to me. So until then we will find other things to occupy our time, but for the hard core tennis fans we are always on the look-out for a good tennis story or tennis star sighting as we wait for one of our true joys of life to begin again.