David Ferrer kept Spain's hopes of retaining the Davis Cup title alive after beating Czech number one Tomas Berdych in straight sets here on Sunday to draw them level at 2-2 in the final.
Ferrer, the world number five, needed just two hours and 25 minutes to see off sixth-ranked Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 on the hardcourt of Prague's O2 Arena. The Czech Republic's Radek Stepanek, the world number 37, will now take on Spain's 11th-ranked Nicolas Almagro in the decisive rubber.
Berdych, who played a four-hour five-setter on Friday and the doubles rubber on Saturday, got off to a slow start against Ferrer. The 27-year-old Czech lost his very first serve in the first set and then another to let Ferrer, 30, get ahead without too much trouble.
"He (Berdych) played a lot of matches, he played five sets with Nicolas and four sets yesterday," said Ferrer.
"I played very aggressive, I started really good and that was the key," he added, praising his first serve and forehand.
Ferrer broke Berdych's serve early in the second set for a 3-0 lead that prompted Berdych to take a bathroom break.