Spain win Davis Cup for second successive time
BARCELONA: Spain won its second straight Davis Cup and showed that its tennis talent extends beyond Rafael Nadal.
Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco beat Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7), 7-5, 6-2 on clay Saturday to give the Spaniards an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Spain captured its fourth title since 2000 and is the first repeat winner since Sweden 11 years ago.
Stepanek netted a shot on match point to hand Spain the title at the same venue where it took its first title nine years ago. Lopez threw his wrist band to Crown Prince Felipe after the team bench emptied to chants of "campeones" (champions) at Palau Sant Jordi.
Nadal, the four-time French Open champion, beat Berdych in Friday''s singles. He missed last year''s final victory at Argentina on a carpet designed to stop the Spanish mastery of clay.
Spain has played in five finals this decade. It is unbeaten in its last 20 series on clay and has won 18 straight at home, dating to 1999.
Spain is the sixth most successful team in the competition''s 108-year history after the United
Spain took advantage of Berdych''s shaky serve for three of its four breaks. Verdasco overcame early jitters to help clinch the title for the second straight year by scoring two key breaks, including in the 14th game of the second set. The ninth-ranked player won the deciding singles match in Argentina last year.