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All-Spanish Final Set for Open Seat Godo Clay Court Tennis Tourney


It will be an all-Spanish final Sunday when former French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero takes on rising star Rafael Nadal at the Open Seat Godo clay court tennis tournament in Barcelona.

Ferrero continued his comeback from illness and injury by reaching the finals with a 7-6, 6-1 victory over Russian Nikolay Davydenko. The former world number one Ferrero is in his first tournament final in more than a year.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal continued his scorching run on clay by beating Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2.

Nadal won his first Masters Series tournament last week in Monte Carlo. The 18-year-old Spanish player has met Ferrero only once before, at this year's Valencia clay-court tournament. Nadal won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

The tournament is one of several events that players are using to prepare for the second major tournament of the year, the French Open, which gets underway May 23rd in Paris.

Meanwhile, Spain leads Argentina, 2-0 while defending champion Russia is tied with Italy (1-1) and Austria is even with France (1-1) on the first day of the Fed Cup women's team tennis competition.

In Jerez, Spain, the home team took the lead over Argentina when Nuria Llagostera Vives of Spain defeated Gisela Dulko in three sets, (6-4, 4-6, 6-3). Spain's Anna Medina Garrigues then beat Maria-Emilia Salerni in three sets (6-4, 4-6, 6-3).

In Poertschach, Austria, the home team took the lead when Yvonne Meusberger of Austria defeated Nathalie Dechy of France in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2. Virginie Razzano leveled the best-of-five match series when she beat Tamira Paszek in straight sets (6-3, 6-3).

Meanwhile, Italy is tied with visiting Russia after Francesca Schiavone beat Dinara Safina in straight sets (7-5, 6-3). Elena Dementieva of Russia then scored a straight-set win over Tathiana Garbin (6-4, 6-3). The Russian team is playing without French Open winner Anastasia Myskina, Wimbledon champ Maria Sharapova and U.S. Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Later, the U.S team takes on Belgium in Delray Beach, Florida. The American squad features world number one player Lindsay Davenport, and the Williams sisters - Venus and Serena. The Belgians are without their two strongest players - Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne.

The winner of the Belgium-U.S. series plays the winner of the Russia-Italy series. Argentina or Spain will play either Austria or France in the semifinals in July. The Fed Cup finals are scheduled for September.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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