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Spain beat the Czech Republic to win the Davis Cup

Spanish captain Albert Costa is thrown into the air by the Spanish team
Spanish captain Albert Costa is thrown into the air by the Spanish team

Defending champions Spain wrapped up a 5-0 whitewash in the Davis Cup final after winning their fourth title against the Czech Republic on Saturday.

Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco sealed it with a 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 6-2 win over Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych.

Rafael Nadal, who won the opening singles on Friday, made it 4-0 by beating Jan Hajek 6-3 6-4, improving his unbeaten run on clay to 12 matches.

David Ferrer completed the rout with a 6-4 6-2 win over Lukas Dlouhy.

Spain also won the Davis Cup in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and are the first country to successfully defend the title since Sweden in 1998.

Current captain Albert Costa played in that first triumph in 2000, and led his players to the first final whitewash since Sweden beat the USA 5-0 in 1997.

Sunday's matches were dead rubbers after Nadal and Ferrer gave Spain a 2-0 lead on the opening day and Lopez and Verdasco ended the contest on Saturday.

"Winning the Davis Cup two years in a row is a spectacular achievement," Spanish captain Albert Costa said. "We should value it enormously.

"I'm so happy, we did did an unbelievable job the whole year. The crowd have been unbelievable and it was an incredible moment to return as captain after winning here nine years ago."

Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil had initially planned to play Hajek and Dlouhy in the doubles and changed his mind, but Stepanek and Berdych were unable to rescue the tie.

Spain got an early break in the opening set to lead 3-1 but the Czechs quickly broke back and with neither pair able to impose themselves, the set went to a tie-break.

Stepanek and Berdych saved two set points and also had one of their own, but Lopez and Verdasco held their nerve and from 7-6 down they won the next three points to take the set.

The second set followed the same pattern, but in the 11th game the visitors took a 40-0 lead before somehow losing their way and Spain won the next five points in a row with Verdasco clinching the game with a shot that gave Berdych no chance.

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Lopez then held serve in the following game to take a two-set lead, wrapping it up with an ace.

The confident Spaniards broke again in the opening game of the third set and from then on there was no way back for the Czechs.

Lopez and Verdasco converted their sixth break point of the fifth game to go 4-1 up and although Stepanek held his serve to stay in the match at 1-5, the hosts quickly wrapped up the win to become the first country since Sweden in 1998 to defend the trophy and spark wild celebrations.

"We didn't expect to win it this quickly," added Costa. "The key to this team has been its unity."

A delighted Lopez, who was winning his second title added: "To win the Davis Cup is always a special feeling at home, and even more than last year in Argentina. Last year was very difficult, more than here.

"The key was we played a great game. We never doubted for one minute."

Berdych admitted that the better team had won. "They deserved to win this tie," he said. "Definitely, we were second in almost all the things that happened in the court today."



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see also
Spain lead after Ferrer fightback
04 Dec 09 |  Tennis
Nadal upbeat despite losing run
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko wins to knock out Nadal
25 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Nadal returns to boost Spain team
16 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Spain and Czechs through to final
20 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Nadal left out of Davis Cup match
30 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Spain tie suspended after gales
06 Mar 09 |  Tennis


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