MOSCOW — Facing nine match points and one of tennis' best serves, Andrei Chesnokov walked away with a victory and Russia advanced to the Davis Cup final for the second consecutive year.
Chesnokov defeated Michael Stich, 6-4, 1-6, 1-6, 6-3, 14-12, on Sunday, giving Russia a 3-2 victory over Germany.
"It was unbelievable what I did," Chesnokov said. "After I lost two sets, 6-1, 6-1, it looked like I had no more chances."
Russia appeared to have few chances of winning after dropping Friday's first two matches.
The final-match showdown was made possible by a doubles victory Saturday by Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Andrei Olhovskiy, then by Kafelnikov's 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 victory Sunday over Bernd Karbacher, a last-minute replacement after Boris Becker was sidelined because of a back injury.
It marked only the fifth time a team had won in Davis Cup world group play after trailing, 2-0.