Posted: Sat February 8, 2014 5:17PM; Updated: Sat February 8, 2014 5:17PM

Carla Suarez gives Spain lead vs. Czechs in Fed Cup

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Carla Suarez
Carla Suarez defeated Barbora Zahlavova to give Spain a 1-0 lead over the Czech Republic.
GOGO LOBATO/Getty Images

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) - Carla Suarez shook off a long rain delay to dispense with Barbora Zahlavova 6-1, 6-4, giving Spain a 1-0 lead over the Czech Republic in their Fed Cup first-round tie on Saturday.

Showers and strong winds delayed the start of the outdoor clay-court match, which was then stopped due to poor weather after 27 minutes with Suarez leading 4-1.

When the sky finally cleared, Suarez again dominated and cruised to the opening point in 52 minutes of playing time stretched over six hours because of the drawn-out rain break.

Suarez broke Zahlavova three times while saving three break points to protect her serve.

''It was very important for us to start out with a win,'' Spain captain Conchita Martinez said. ''We knew the weather could be like this. We talked about it all week and my players were prepared for anything.''

The second singles between Spain's Maria-Teresa Toro-Flor and Czech Klara Zakapalova scheduled for Saturday will be played on Sunday before the reverse singles and doubles.

The Czechs have won the Fed Cup seven times. Spain has won it on five occasions.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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