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Rediff.com  » Sports » Czechs, Spain split opening singles in Davis Cup final

Czechs, Spain split opening singles in Davis Cup final

November 17, 2012 08:33 IST

The Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych brought the hosts level at 1-1 with holders Spain in the Davis Cup final with a battling five-set victory over Nicolas Almagro on Friday.

The top Czech player, ranked sixth in the world, used his booming serve to good effect and drew inspiration from the vocal home support to get win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

Earlier, Spain's top player David Ferrer beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in a hard-fought opening match.

Tomas BerdychWorld number 11 Almagro pusehd Berdych all the way and won the fourth set tie-break with one of 21 aces but the Spaniard's brave resistance was finally broken by the 6'5" (196 cm) Czech.

"I messed it up a bit," Berdych said, regarding the fourth set.

"I gave him too much of an advantage in the tiebreak. So I was really looking forward to playing with this crowd at my back (in the final set). It is an amazing feeling," .

"We opened the chance for Sunday. That's a good step for us."

Berdych will likely team up with Stepanek in Saturday's doubles before the reverse singles on Sunday.

Spain are bidding for a fourth Davis Cup crown in five years while the Czechs are aiming to become the first country in 22 years to win men's and women's team titles in the same season.

Image: Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic plays a backhand against Nicolas Almagro of Spain during day one of the Davis Cup final.

Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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