Spain leads Czech Republic 1-0 in Davis Cup final

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Spain's David Ferrer returns the ball to Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek during their Davis Cup finals tennis singles match in Prague, Czech Republic, Friday, Nov. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

PRAGUE (AP) — David Ferrer opened Spain's bid for its fourth Davis Cup title in five years with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the opening singles match of the final Friday.

The fifth-ranked Ferrer, who won a tour-best seven titles this season, started slowly but soon took control before cruising to his 75th victory of the year.

Sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was to play Nicolas Almagro in the second singles match.

Unbeaten in the competition since 2010, Ferrer put the visitors ahead 1-0 in the best-of-five series after closing out on his second match point to improve to 22-4 in the Davis Cup.

Ferrer also beat Stepanek in five sets in the 2009 final that Spain swept 5-0.