Tue, Dec 08, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Nadal and Ferrer complete Spain’s sweep of Czechs

AP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

From left, Spanish players David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco, Rafael Nadal and team captain Albert Costa celebrate after winning the Davis cup final against the Czech Republic in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday.

PHOTO: AFP

Spain lifted the Davis Cup for the second straight year on Sunday after completing a 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the final.

Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer both won singles matches on Sunday at the Palau Sant Jordi to complete the sweep as Spain won for the fourth time since 2000 while becoming the first nation since Sweden in 1998 to retain the title.

Spain had already clinched the best-of-five series with Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco’s doubles victory on Saturday. The second-ranked Nadal followed up by beating Jan Hajek 6-3, 6-4 and Ferrer beat Lukas Dlouhy 6-4, 6-2 on the indoor clay.

The 102nd-ranked Hajek replaced Radek Stepanek for the meaningless match, and the 465th-ranked Dlouhy, a doubles specialist, replaced Tomas Berdych.

Spain has now won 18 straight Davis Cup ties at home — stretching to 1999 — and 20 straight on clay. Albert Costa was on the team that won in Barcelona in 2000, while Nadal helped lead the team to victory at Seville in 2004.

Spain’s streaks will be put to the test in the first round in March against Switzerland, which could be led by Roger Federer.

There have been 23 previous final sweeps, with Sweden’s 5-0 win over the US in 1997 the last.

Spain improved to 4-2 against the Czechs, who played in their third final and first since 1980.

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