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Spain retain Davis Cup with 3-0 win

Fernando Verdasco, left, congratulates doubles partner Feliciano Lopez after clinching the Davis Cup title.
Fernando Verdasco, left, congratulates doubles partner Feliciano Lopez after clinching the Davis Cup title.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spain retain the Davis Cup after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in final against Czech Republic
  • Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco defeat Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych
  • The Czech pairing suffered their first defeat in five previous Davis Cup outings
  • Spain, unbeaten at home in 10 years, became the first team to defend title since 1998
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(CNN) -- Spain have retained the Davis Cup after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the final against the Czech Republic by winning the doubles on Saturday.

The home team had set up an early victory as world No. 2 Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer won their opening singles matches on the clay of Barcelona on Friday.

Then Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco teamed up to win 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 6-2 against Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych, handing the Czech pairing their first defeat in five previous Davis Cup outings.

The visitors' captain Jaroslav Navratil had raised eyebrows when he initially decided not to use Stepanek or Berdych in the doubles, opting for doubles specialist Lukas Dlouhy and the little-known Jan Hajek when the draw was made on Thursday.

However, the Czechs were forced to rethink their plans after Ferrer battled back from two sets down to beat Stepanek and give the Spanish a commanding 2-0 advantage.

Lopez and Verdasco had also given Spain the winning point when clinching the final against Argentina last year.

In the first-set tie-break, Berdych and Stepanek retrieved two mini-break deficits and then led 7-6 but couldn't maintain their momentum.

I don't think this team has any limits. The only worry we can have is maybe motivation.
--Spain captain Albert Costa

Lopez and Verdasco claimed the decisive break in the 11th game of the second set after coming from 0-40 down, then quickly went 2-0 up in the third.

The stretched that to 4-1 after Stepanek hurt his knee while slipping when making a volley and Spain served out for victory to maintain their 10-year unbeaten home record.

"To win the Davis Cup is always a special feeling at home and even more than last year in Argentina," Lopez said. "The key was we played a great game. We never doubted for one minute."

The Spaniards clinched their fourth title and became the first country to successfully defend their crown since Sweden in 1998.

Albert Costa became the first captain to win the title in his first year in charge since compatriot Javier Duarte did so, also at the Palau Sant Jordi, in 2000.

"I don't think this team has any limits," he said. "The only worry we can have is maybe motivation."

The dead reverse singles rubbers will still be played on Sunday, but will be reduced to best-of-three sets.