Whoever wins next month's Davis Cup by BNP Paribas title will go down in history as the winner of the 100th final of the world's most famous team tennis competition.
Czech Republic host Spain in a repeat of the 2009 Final in which Spain came out on top in a one-sided affair at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona. Led by Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, Spain got out of the blocks quickly racing to a 2-0 lead and the trophy was won following Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco’s victory over Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek in the doubles.
The Czech side will be looking for revenge from that tie but have history mounted against them as they look for a first victory over Spain since playing under the flag of Czechoslovakia in 1971 and are currently on a three match losing streak against the top-ranked Davis Cup nation. However, only once in the last six years has a nation managed to win the title playing away from home – that team being Spain who won in Argentina in 2008.
Czech Republic reached the Final thanks to victories against Italy and Serbia at home in the first two rounds followed by a tough trip to Parque Roca to defeat Argentina in the semifinal.
Juan Martin del Potro had put the home side ahead in the first rubber with victory over Stepanek but two wins from Berdych either side of success in the doubles when the two Czech players combined for their 11th victory in 12 matches together in the competition turned the tie around. The title has not made its way to Prague since 1980 with this being only the second Final to feature the Czechs since that victory.
The absence of Rafael Nadal from the Spanish side has allowed other players a chance to shine, most notably Nicolas Almagro who is unbeaten in five singles rubbers through the year.
Kazakhstan and Austria put up little fight against Spain’s ever increasing unbeaten home record and although USA fought hard through four gruelling rubbers they too were brushed aside in part thanks to David Ferrer’s determination as he won marathon matches against both Sam Querry and John Isner. Spain are looking for their fourth title in five years and their sixth overall having won the competition for the first time in 2000.