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December 5, 2009

Tomas Berdych

Jaroslav Navratil

Radek Stepanek


7-6, 7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: We have the captain and the two players, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek. We'll begin with questions.

Q. For the captain, to be in this final you have beaten France, Croatia, the champions. It's not a promise, but are you satisfied, even though beating Spain on clay is mostly impossible?
CAPTAIN NAVRATIL: We are very happy with this season because we are coming after 29 years to the finals.
But still, you know, our opponent, Team Spain, was very strong, very tough. I have to just congratulate the Spanish team for the second victory in the Davis Cup.

Q. Radek, could you sum up what your impressions are of Spanish tennis in general, having won four times in nine years, and you get to play them today? How good are they?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, that says everything. To win four times in nine years, as you said, that shows how strong Spanish tennis is in general.
You know, you have a huge base of the players, huge amount of players, tennis centers. You know, always when you have so many players, then always somebody's coming up. The toughness and the team is so strong that you have four players now in the team, but you can even build up a second team nearly strong like the first team is.
My impression of Spanish tennis is big, you know. The players are proving how strong they are.

Q. Radek, a little bit more on that team. People are always so quick to write people off, like last year Roger was having a bad year, they were saying he was not going to be the Federer he was, and this year he did well. People are doing that to Rafa this year. Are they mistaken by just seeing that maybe he's having a natural lull, that he's not going to be the player he's been?
RADEK STEPANEK: I think, you know, to underestimate Rafa or Federer, you know, even they are not playing the way that the people are used to, that they are not winning every single tournament, one of the them, they play, and they start to ask, you know, they have a bad year, they are on the way down. I don't think so.
Those two guys are the biggest champions now. They have in the back Murray, Del Potro, Djokovic. I believe they are just normal human beings, you know, who have their up and downs like everybody in the world has. I wouldn't say that, okay, Rafa didn't win a tournament for a few months, but look back what he did before. I mean, he just deserves respect for what he did.
As you can saw, I said he's going to be hundred percent ready for Davis Cup, even he lost his three matches in London. You know, that's what he proved yesterday, what a champion he is.
And my opinion is, you know, don't underestimate they are on the way down or something like that.

Q. Tomas, can you tell us how difficult was it to put on the brave face that you put on after the match was over on the court?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, I mean, I have to say first of all that the Spanish team just proved that they are really strong, especially when they playing home. This match was, again, like proved that I have to say that they deserve to win this tie.
I mean, yeah, definitely we were second in almost all the things what happened on the court today. So, yeah, I just have to congratulate them and just all the respect, and they deserve to win today.

Q. Radek, you started the year winning in Brisbane against Verdasco. You finished the year. When are you going to have holidays? For me it's really amazing you were in form all year.
RADEK STEPANEK: As I said, I hope I stay human, normal human being. But, yeah, you know, it never happened to me that the season was so long, you know. Davis Cup means so much for me. Always gave everything to Davis Cup matches, all my heart, all the things what it belongs to.
And, you know, to keep myself in the form for nearly 11 and a half months, you know, it's a great achievement for my coaches also who kept me, you know, doing the things right. I'm feeling fit. You know, I'm in great shape. I hope I can keep it up and build another off-season practice for a next year. Definitely the whole year gave me a lot of confidence, and I want to keep doing that.

Q. Sticking with the theme of Spanish tennis, Radek, maybe you can say Feliciano and Fernando, they clinched all the points against Argentina, then again this year, do they play better tennis when they're with Davis Cup and the Spanish team than when they are on the tour?
RADEK STEPANEK: You know, Davis Cup is a special event. You have behind you when you play a tournament just you, yourself. When you lose, you can talk to yourself. But here in Davis Cup, you have the responsibility. You have the whole nation behind your back. You have the people, you know, supporting you. It's completely a different feeling.
You know, they are a great team. You know, together they made a lot of points in the doubles. Last year when Rafa was injured in the finals, you know, they backed him up with the title.
So, definitely, you know, they're great players, and they are proving it in Davis Cup.

Q. Tomas, in the first game of the third set, they broke Radek's serve. Do you think it was that point when it looked like perhaps there was nothing you were going to be able to do, you weren't going to be able to bounce back?
TOMAS BERDYCH: Well, definitely we don't get any more chances during like the second and third sets at all. So I think the key point was already in the first set when we had a set point in the tiebreak where we was down and we get back.
But then, yeah, really, they get confidence after the first set. They get really up, playing pretty well. There was really not many chances that we can take and maybe win the set or trying to turn the match to our way.

End of FastScripts

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