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Czechs defend Davis Cup title

TENNIS: Radek Stepanek ensured the Czech Republic successfully defended their Davis Cup title as he claimed a straight-sets victory over Serbia's Dusan Lajovic to complete a 3-2 win in the final at Belgrade Arena yesterday.

The world number 44 became the first player to win consecutive fifth singles rubbers in the final after outclassing Lajovic, ranked down at 117 in the world, in what was undoubtedly the biggest match of his 23-year-old opponent's career.

Stepanek, who beat Nicolas Almagro in four sets in the fifth match of last year's final – in which Czech Republic defeated Spain 3-2 – outplayed the young Serb to record a 6-3 6-1 6-1 triumph.

Earlier in yesterday's action, Novak Djokovic made sure the final went to a fifth rubber against the defending champions as he saw off Tomas Berdych 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.



CROSS COUNTRY: Fionnuala Britton put in a stellar performance at the Woodie's DIY Inter County Cross Country championships at Santry Demesne yesterday to take the National senior women's title.

The double European cross country champion had Sarah Treacy (Moynaley AC) for company for the opening lap, but she eased away while Sarah McCormack of Dundrum South Dublin AC came through to take second ahead of Treacy.

Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) was an impressive winner in the Men's Senior race.



CRICKET: Ireland's cricketers came out on top in the battle of the unbeaten T20 Group A sides yesterday and are looking good to qualify for the latter stages of the tournament after another last-gasp win, this time against host side UAE.

William Porterfield and Paul Stirling were straight on the attack against Manjula Guruge and Shadeep Silva, Stirling in particular sore on Guruge, who leaked 21 runs in his first two overs.

Kevin O'Brien and Gary Wilson made a 92-run stand as Ireland reached 138 for 5 at the close of play before the UAE were bowled out for 133.



DARTS: Phil Taylor won one of darts' finest ever matches to reach the Grand Slam of Darts final with a 16-9 defeat of Adrian Lewis, while Robert Thornton joined him in the decider by seeing off Scott Waites by the same scoreline in his last-four duel.