PRAGUE - The Czech Republic won the Davis Cup for the first time as an independent nation Sunday, beating defending champion Spain 3-2 in the final after Radek Stepanek defeatedNicolas Almagro in the last reverse singles 6-4, 7-6 (7-0), 3-6, 6-3.
After converting his second match point, Stepanek dropped to the court in disbelief before teammates Tomas Berdych, Lukas Rosol, Ivo Minar and captain Jaroslav Navratil jumped on him. "There's nothing more to achieve," Berdych said. "This is a moment we never forget."
The Czechs' only previous victory came in 1980 as Czechoslovakia, which split in 1993, with a team led by Ivan Lendl.
David Ferrer kept alive Spain's hopes by beating Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 in the first reverse singles match to tie the final at 2-2. Spain was without injured Rafael Nadal.
* * *
Vonn back training, day to day post-illness
Four-time overall World Cup champ Lindsey Vonn resumed slalom training, less than a week after being hospitalized with an intestinal illness. She went through a series of gates on a course in Vail, Colo., a day after free-skiing on the mountain.
"Her skiing was right there," U.S. women's technical coach Roland Pfeifer said. "Obviously, she has a little lack of energy. It's just a matter of how fast she's able to charge her battery. ... We go day by day.
Vonn, 28, was admitted to the Vail hospital a week ago today and stayed two nights. A few days after being released, she posted on Facebook that she had a stomach infection. There was no word on whether Vonn would take part in Cup races in Aspen, Colo., next weekend.
SPEED SKATING: American Heather Richardson won the women's 1,000 meters at the first World Cup meet of the season in Heerenveen, Netherlands.
* * *
DRUGS: The rule that requires banning athletes convicted of serious doping offenses from competing in the next Olympics has been dropped from the latest draft of the World Anti-Doping Code in favor of doubling the length of bans from two to four years, the World Anti-Doping Agency said. The new code is due to be approved in the fall at a meeting in Johannesburg and implemented in 2015.
SOCCER: Los Angeles advanced to its record eighth MLS Cup final, beating Seattle on aggregate goals 4-2 with a 2-1 loss at home in the second leg of the two-match Western Conference final. It faces Houston, which advanced to its second straight final and fourth in seven years by tying host D.C. United 1-1 for a 4-2 aggregate-goals win in the East final. The title game is Dec. 1.
NHL: All was quiet on the labor front, one day before the league and the locked-out players planned to return to the bargaining table for the first time in eight days. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he said he expected the session would include himself, commissioner Gary Bettman and a few owners. Players are expected to join union chief Donald Fehr and lawyer Steve Fehr, Donald's brother.