BRATISLAVA, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Slovakia's dream of making the Davis Cup finals was crashed as Jiri Vesely secured the deciding third point for the Czech Republic at the National Tennis Center in Bratislava on Saturday.
After Friday's botched singles fixtures, Slovakia was down 2-0 and close to a knockout, but thanks to a great performance of veteran duo Filip Polasek and Igor Zelenay against the young Czechs Jonas Forejtek and Zdenek Kolar, the home team kept its hopes alive after a clear 6-4, 6-4 victory in the doubles match.
In the following Saturday rubber, Slovak No. 1 Andrej Martin put on an unexpected fight and was even close to a surprising triumph against Vesely, but the tall left-handed Czech leader managed to rally, force a third set in which he successfully averted Martin's match-ball at 5-4 and later capitalized on his own to secure a 3-1 overall victory for the Czechs, as well as a spot in the Davis Cup finals to be held in November in Madrid.
"I had it in my own hands. I am very sorry. I started on the wrong foot but managed to improve and get back on the horse but failed in the finish exactly like against Rosol on Friday. Vesely's performance gradually improved, on the other hand, and he played his best tennis towards the end," said the defeated Martin after the game.
"It was my toughest Davis Cup match. I got very lucky," admitted Vesely during the celebrations with the Czech team.