PRAGUE (AP) David Ferrer opened Spain's bid for its fourth Davis Cup title in five years with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the opening singles match of the final Friday.
The fifth-ranked Ferrer, who won a tour-best seven titles this season, started slowly but soon took control before cruising to his 75th victory of the year.
Sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic was to play Nicolas Almagro in the second singles match.
Unbeaten in the competition since 2010, Ferrer put the visitors ahead 1-0 in the best-of-five series after closing out on his second match point to improve to 22-4 in the Davis Cup.
Ferrer also beat Stepanek in five sets in the 2009 final that Spain swept 5-0.