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Davis Cup World Group Final Preview

Stepanek© AFP/Getty ImagesRadek Stepanek will play the first rubber for the Czech Republic against David Ferrer. previews the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final, which begins 16 November 2012.

Prague, Czech Republic (Hard – Indoors)

The draw for the 100th Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final was made Thursday afternoon in Prague at the Municipal House.

Radek Stepanek will open play for the host Czech Republic against World No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain, and will be followed by sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych against 11th-ranked Nicolas Almagro. Recent Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez headline the doubles rubber for the Spanish team and are slated to face Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol on Saturday.

The Czech Republic is looking to win its first title since 1980, while Spain is seeking its fourth crown in five years, having lifted the trophy in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Spain rolled over the Czechs in a 5-0 whitewash on clay to capture the 2009 title, but this time, the two countries will square off on indoor hard. Ferrer reflected on Spain's win three years ago, when he outlasted Stepanek in a pulsating five-set rubber.

“It was a very emotional match,” Ferrer said. “It was a really close match. I won in five sets. That was my second Davis Cup [title] and first one at home in Spain, and one of the best moments of my career.”

The Czechs are approaching the meeting differently this time around, believing they have what it takes to win.

“The final in Barcelona, we were in completely a different position and all that was against us. [It's] now going to be on our side,” said Berdych. “It’s still on us players to go there and fight for the three points. We will do everything we possibly can to get those three points.”

Berdych was the hero for the Czech Republic in the semi-finals, winning both his singles rubbers and the doubles point with Stepanek to lead the Czechs to a road victory over Argentina. He won two ATP World Tour indoor titles this season, in Montpellier and Stockholm.

Ferrer and Almagro are a combined 9-0 in Davis Cup action this year, but all three of their previous ties in 2012 have been contested on clay at home. Ferrer finished the season with a tour-leading seven trophies, highlighted by triumphing at his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris, an indoor-hard court tournament.

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