December 04, 2009

BARCELONA, Spain - Rafael Nadal beat Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-0, 6-2 on Friday to give defending champion Spain a 1-0 lead over the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup final.

Nadal converted a decisive break point in the 11th game on his way to taking the tight first set, and Berdych was never in the match after that as his serve faltered and he finished with 40 unforced errors.

Returning to his favourite clay surface after four straight indoor defeats, Nadal won 11 straight games at one stretch for his fifth straight win over Berdych and improved his Davis Cup clay record to 11-0.

Radek Stepanek will look to even the best-of-five series later Friday when he plays David Ferrer in the second singles.

Spain, which hasn't lost at home in over a decade, is looking to become the first team since Sweden in 1998 to defend the trophy.

Nadal certainly didn't look like the player who came in on the heels of a four-match winless run, including three defeats without

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