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Davis Cup set for decider

David Ferrer kept alive Spain's hopes of winning a fourth Davis Cup title in five years by beating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-3 7-5 in Sunday's first reverse singles.

That levelled the final in Prague at 2-2 heading into the decisive final singles later on Sunday between Radek Stepanek and Nicolas Almagro.

 

The fifth-ranked Ferrer improved his career record against Berdych to 6-3.

 

Ferrer, who is completing the best season of his career having won an ATP Tour-best seven titles, converted his first match point to complete a comfortable victory at the O2 Arena in the Czech capital.

 

World No 6 Berdych, who played a four-hour five-setter in the opening singles on Friday and the doubles rubber on Saturday, got off to a slow start against the in-form Ferrer.

 

The 27-year-old Czech lost his first service game in the first set and then let slip another to allow Ferrer, 30, to take control.

 

The fifth-ranked Ferrer broke Berdych's serve early in the second set for a 3-0 lead and was never threatened.

 

In the third set, Berdych managed to come back from 4-2 down but Ferrer quickly silenced the home crowd of more than 14,000 by closing out the contest in just two hours and 25 minutes.

 

"He (Berdych) played a lot of matches, he played five sets with Nicolas and four sets yesterday," said Ferrer.

 

"I played very focused, very aggressive, I started really good and maybe that was the key."