Serbian media unhappy in Davis Cup defeat
Serbian media has criticised Radek Stepanek after the veteran led his Czech team to a second straight Davis Cup title at the weekend, beating home side Serbia 3-2.
Stepanek, often an acquired taste for fans with his “worm dance” celebrations on court and a sometimes prickly personality, copped criticism after he ventured an opinion on the doubles rubber, won by himself and teammate Tomas Berdych on Saturday in what proved to be a decisive turn in the final.
The Czech hero was branded a heel in Serbia, with media quoting Serbian coach Bogdan Obradovic, who said he was ill-mannered, presumably for celebrating the victory obtained with his fifth-rubber defeat of untested Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.
Stepanek said after the win that not playing Djokovic with Nenad Zimonjic in the doubles was like Serbia “leaving their Ferrari in the garage”.
The media also made a meal out of the punishment of Serb Viktor Troicki, suspended for missing a blood test by international anti-doping authorities until next July.
The hard-luck player who has been vigorously defended throughout the episode by his teammates, was reportedly banned from entering the Belgrade arena for the weekend tie.
But media tip-toed around any criticism of world number two Djokovic, who ended an exhausting season with his 24th consecutive match win as he kept his nation in the fight in Sunday’s reverse singles rubber by claiming his second point in three days.
“One Novak is too little for the trophy,” said tabloid Blic, adding that the decision to let Djokovic rest was a “a team decision”.