Spain and the Czech Republic are locked at 1-1 after the opening two rubbers of the Davis Cup final in Prague.
Spain's David Ferrer easily brushed aside Radek Stepanek in the first match on Friday before Tomas Berdych responded for the Czechs, edging out Nicolas Almagro in a marathon clash on the indoor hard-courts.
Berdych's win was crucial in keeping his team in the tie, with Australia the last nation to come from 2-0 down in the final in 1939.
Spain took early control of the final thanks to the ever reliable Ferrer, who needed just under three hours to overcome Stepanek 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Stepanek committed 46 unforced errors and such a high count was always going to prove costly against Ferrer.
World number five Ferrer, who finished the match with five of 25 break points converted, wasted several chances in the first set before making the crucial break in the eighth game.
He carried the momentum into the second, breaking to open before Stepanek turned the clash in his favour to lead 4-3.
But Ferrer's response was ferocious and he regained the ascendancy to lead 5-4 before opening up a two-sets-to-love lead.
Untroubled, Ferrer (48 winners) surged out to a 5-2 lead in the third set and took the opening rubber despite a mini-revival from Stepanek.
Almagro was unable to put Spain in complete control after falling to a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 loss to Berdych in a classic.
Berdych refused to shake Almagro's hand after their Australian Open clash earlier this year and the pair traded early blows in their Davis Cup encounter.
But leading two-sets-to-one and 3-1 in the fourth, Berdych looked to be headed for a relatively comfortable win.
Almagro fought off another break point and then levelled at 3-3, carrying his momentum through the rest of the set to surprisingly level the affair.
World number six Berdych gained what was the final break of the match in the sixth game of the deciding set to ensure the Czechs stayed in the tie after his win came in just under four hours.