Reign in Spain as doubles pair help retain Davis Cup

It's Czech mate as the ever-improving Verdasco and Lopez find feat on clay

Spain retained the Davis Cup last night with a doubles victory here to earn an unassailable 3-0 lead over the Czech Republic.

After Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer's singles victories on Friday – the latter after coming from two sets and a break down to beat Radek Stepanek – Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez teamed up to beat Stepanek and Tomas Berdych 7-6 7-5 6-2.

The triumph prompted scenes of jubilation, Verdasco and Lopez collapsing to the court before joining their team-mates in a victory huddle.

The first two sets were extremely close but it was the hosts who had the edge at the Palau Sant Jordi, and they ran away with it in the third as the Czech pair realised the game was up.

Spain went into the tie as hot favourites and they secured the first break four games in. However, Berdych and Stepanek broke straight back and held serve all the way to the tie-break on the indoor clay surface.

Stepanek is one of the few players on the ATP Tour who still plays a serve-and-volley game and his skill at the net proved a useful asset for the Czechs.

Lopez is also a decent volleyer though, and, combined with the

power of Verdasco, helped the hosts to a 6-3 lead in the tie-break.

However, the Czechs hit back to level and then two points against the serve gave them a set point, but they could not take it and, when Spain engineered another chance, they came out on top after a superb rally.

Verdasco has a particular affinity for the Davis Cup after his five-set victory over Jose Acasuso last year clinched the trophy for Spain in their 3-1 win over Argentina.

That comeback triumph in a hostile atmosphere in Mar del Plata has often been credited as the spark for Verdasco's breakthrough this year, the 26-year-old reaching the Australian Open semi-finals and becoming a fixture in the top 10.

He failed to win a match on his debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London last week but was inspired yesterday, the weight of his shot frequently proving too much for the Czech pair.

And it was Verdasco who was the key player in the only break of the second set, as the Spaniards fought back from 40-0 down at 5-5 with five successive points. Lopez then wrapped up the set with a superb ace.

The third set began in dream fashion for the hosts with a break, and they simply piled the pressure on their beleaguered opponents, breaking again after a lengthy fifth game.

Stepanek held his nerve serving to stay in the match at 1-5 but Spain did not have long to wait for the ultimate glory, Lopez serving out to give the hosts their fourth Davis Cup crown in 10 years.

Last 10 Davis Cup Winners

2009 Spain beat Czech Rep 3-0

2008 Spain beat Argentina 3-1

2007 US beat Russia 4-1

2006 Russia beat Argentina 3-2

2005 Croatia beat Slovakia 3-2

2004 Spain beat US 3-2

2003 Australia beat Spain 3-1

2002 Russia beat France 3-2

2001 France beat Australia 3-2

2000 Spain beat Australia 3-1

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape