Ferrer will open for Spain in Davis Cup final

Published November 15, 2012

| Sports Network

The 100th Davis Cup final will get underway Friday with an opening singles rubber between world No. 5 star David Ferrer and Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.

Reigning champion Spain and the Czech Republic will square off in a best-of- five tie on a fast indoor hardcourt at Prague's O2 Arena, where a capacity crowd of 13,000 fans is expected.

Ferrer-Stepanek will be followed by a match between sixth-ranked Czech Tomas Berdych and world No. 11 Spaniard Nicolas Almagro.

"I'm very confident with my game," said Ferrer, who defeated Stepanek in five sets in the 2009 final in Barcelona. Ferrer said that "was one of the best moments of my career."

Saturday's doubles bout in Prague will pit a Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez against a Czech duo of Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol, although most expect to see Berdych and Stepanek teaming up on Day 2. Granollers and Lopez are fresh off their surprise title at last week's season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London, which concluded on Monday.

Sunday's reverse singles in Prague call for Ferrer to battle the former Wimbledon runner-up Berdych and Almagro to take on the 34-year-old world No. 37 Stepanek.

"Our fans are in the winning mood and we hope that we can leave this arena in the same way as the Fed Cup team," Stepanek said.

The Czech women captured a second straight Fed Cup title at O2 Arena two weeks ago.

Spain will play without injured superstar Rafael Nadal, who has been sidelined with knee problems since June.

The Spaniards are captained by former top-five star Alex Corretja, while the host Czechs are piloted by Jaroslav Navratil.

Five-time champion Spain has won three of the last four Davis Cup titles, including a 5-0 sweep of the Czech Republic in the '09 finale. The former Czechoslovakia captured its lone Davis Cup title in 1980.

Spain is 4-2 all-time versus the Czechs, including 2-0 against the Czech Republic. The Spaniards went 2-2 against the former Czechoslovakia in a series that started back in 1931.

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