|Posted on November 16, 2012 at 4:10 PM|
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ATP NEWS | 16 November 2012
In the opening rubber, World No. 5 David Ferrer gave Spain a 1-0 lead by dismissing Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in just under three hours.
Ferrer improved to a 22-4 Davis Cup singles record as he struck 48 winners to 30 unforced errors. A strong finish to the first set and an early break in the second set put the Valencia native in charge of his 10th meeting with Stepanek. The Czech No. 2 rallied briefly when Ferrer served for the match at 5-2 in the third set, but the Spaniard closed out victory at the second time of asking.
“I played very good. I'm very happy with my game,” Ferrer said. “He played really good when he played back. It's not easy to play Radek on this type of court, because it's really fast. I received really good. Maybe this was the key.”
The 30-year-old Ferrer claimed his 75th match win in a career-best season that has seen him win an ATP World Tour-best seven titles and compete at last week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The right-hander played a pivotal role in leading Spain into the Davis Cup final, winning both his singles matches against the United States in September’s semi-finals.
Spain is bidding to win the Davis Cup title for the fourth time in five years and has won the coveted ITF men’s team competition five times since 2000. In the 2009 final on clay in Barcelona, Spain completed a 5-0 whitewash over the Czech Republic.
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Tomas Berdych, his girlfriend Ester Satorova and Nicole Vaidisova wife of Radek Stepanek watch Radek Stepanek against David Ferrer during their match on day one of the final Davis Cup match between Czech Republic and Spain at the 02 Arena on November 16, 2012 in Prague, Czech Republic.