GIJON, SPAIN: For Spain, being in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final has become a routine phenomenon. The country secured a 3-1 semifinal victory over USA this past weekend to guarantee their passage into the Final for the fourth time in the past five years.
Without question, Spain has established a nearly invincible reputation in Davis Cup activity during this century. They’ve won five Davis Cup championship titles since they scored their first triumph in 2000, which included their 3-1 victory over Argentina in Seville last year.
In this year’s upcoming Final on 16-18 November, Spain will square off against Czech Republic but will not enjoy home court advantage. They will play an away Final in a Czech Republic locale to be determined in the near future.
The Czechs, bolstered by Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, earned their spot in the Final with a 3-2 victory over Argentina in Buenos Aires.
Spain will head into the Final – the 100th Davis Cup Final in the history of the competition – with a 4-2 winning edge over Czech Republic. The last time the two countries met in Davis Cup was in the 2009 Final, which went to Spain. The Czechs last beat Spain in a Davis Cup tie in 1971.
The tie went Spain’s way on Sunday afternoon at the Parque Hermanos Castro in Gijon when solid as a rock David Ferrer closed out the tie with a 67(3) 63 64 62 win over John Isner. The only point USA won was compliments of Bob and Mike Bryan, the No. 1 doubles team in the world.
In his first year as Spanish Davis Cup captain, Alex Corretja was beaming at the possibility of being able to give his squad a chance to defend their Davis Cup title. As a player, Corretja was instrumental in helping Spain to their first ever Davis Cup victory in 2000.
“It’s a great honour,” said Corretja, of guiding his team to this year’s Final. “It’s been a wonderful year and now we want to go for more, of course, now that we’re in the Final. The players, the whole team, the whole staff, it’s just a privilege to be sitting there with them.”
For Ferrer, who led the Spanish team during this tie as Rafael Nadal was sidelined with a knee injury, considers Davis Cup the penultimate experiences in his career.
"This is the competition in which I have felt the most emotions in. I'm a team player," said Ferrer, who was an important factor in Spain’s last three Davis Cup championship wins. "I don't know how much longer my career will last, so I want to do my best possible in the Davis Cup. Alex Corretja motivated me to play this season."
Spain has won 24 consecutive Davis Cup ties at home and their last 26 ties on clay dating back to 1999. It can be expected that whatever venue the Czechs select to hold the Final there is little chance they will contest the battle on a clay court.