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Nadal Leads Spain into Davis Cup Final

LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel will provide exclusive coverage of Spain and the Czech Republic’s Davis Cup championship competition in Barcelona this weekend, with live and same-day “Instant Encore” replays Friday through Sunday. Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal will lead his nation as it defends its 2008 Davis Cup crown and plays for its fourth title overall.

The year-ending final between Spain and the Czech Republic will consist of two singles matches on Friday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. ET, followed by the doubles match Saturday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. ET. Tennis Channel’s coverage concludes with the remaining singles play Sunday, Dec. 6, at 6 a.m. ET. Each of the five matches is worth one point, with the team that wins at least three points winning the Davis Cup title.

Coverage from Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona (all times ET):

Friday, Dec. 4:

10 a.m. - Live Singles #1
1 p.m. - Live Singles #2
{8 p.m. - Instant Encore Singles #1}
{11 p.m. - Instant Encore Singles #2}

Saturday, Dec. 5:

10 a.m. - Live Doubles
{8 p.m. - Instant Encore Doubles}

Sunday, Dec. 6:

6 a.m. - Live Singles #1
9 a.m. - Live Singles #2
{8 p.m. - Instant Encore Singles #1}
{11 p.m. - Instant Encore Singles #2}

Spain and the Czech Republic have faced each other five times in Davis Cup play, with Spain winning three of those matches. The most recent competition was during the 2004 Davis Cup first round, when Spain won 3-2 in Brno, Czech Republic. The Spaniards enter this weekend’s match after defeating Israel 4-1 in Torre Pacheco Murcia, Spain, to reach the Davis Cup final for the seventh time. Spain, will attempt to become the first nation since Sweden in 1998 to successfully defend the Davis Cup trophy. In 1965, 1967 and 2003 Spain reached the Davis Cup final, but fell to Australia on all three occasions. Last year Spain won its third Davis Cup title and its first win away from home by defeating Argentina 3-1 in Mar del Plata.

Spain is captained by former professional tennis star Albert Costa, who won the 2002 French Open singles title and played on Spain’s winning Davis Cup squad in 2000. Rafael Nadal, World No. 2, is building on a year that saw him lift his sixth Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open and capture three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, despite his summer absence due to injury. Nadal won the 2008 Olympic gold metal in singles and holds 36 career titles. Fernando Verdasco, No. 9, enjoyed one of his best years by wining his third singles title in New Haven and rising to as high as No. 7 in the world rankings. At this year’s Australian Open, Verdasco defeated Radek Stepanek, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Other notable stars on Spain’s Davis Cup squad include David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez.

The Czech Republic has reached the Davis Cup final for the fourth time by defeating Croatia 4-1 in Porec, but this is the nation’s first appearance since its sole Davis Cup title in 1980, when Czechoslovakia defeated Italy 4-1 in Prague. The Czech team is captained by Jaroslav Navratil and features Radek Stepanek, Tomas Berdych, Jan Hajek and Lukas Dlouhy.

Tennis Channel (tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

 

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