Defending champion Spain reached its fourth Davis Cup tennis final in five years after beating the U.S. and will play the Czech Republic for the title.
David Ferrer beat John Isner 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 yesterday to ensure the semifinal victory in Gijon after Spain also won the opening two singles matches in the best-of-five contest on Sept. 14.
The Czech Republic, which was swept 5-0 by Spain in the 2005 final, will host the Nov. 16-18 championship decider after beating last year’s runner-up Argentina 3-2 in Buenos Aires.
“It’s different,” Spain captain Alex Corretja said of playing the final away from home. “Here you play in front of your home crowd on your best surface. You pick everything, the best scenario. We’re going to have to wait for what the opponents want and we’re going to have to be ready for that.”
Spain, which was without the injured Rafael Nadal, has won the top team competition in men’s tennis five times in the past 12 years. Serbia is the only other nation to claim the trophy since the U.S. secured the last of its record 32 titles in 2007.
The U.S. had kept its chances of adding to that tally alive following a win for Bob and Mike Bryan in the doubles two days ago. World No. 5 Ferrer and 10th-ranked Nicolas Almagro had put Spain in control with singles victories on day one.
Isner won the opening set in a tiebreaker before Ferrer took control. Ferrer made 32 unforced errors compared with 70 for his opponent as he extended his perfect Davis Cup record on clay to 16 straight wins.
“He’s a guy who never gives up,” Corretja said of Ferrer. “He’s a gladiator and he knows the way he needs to play on clay, the way he needs to move and hit the ball.”
Tomas Berdych, who needed five sets to beat Argentina’s Juan Monaco in his singles opener, followed up with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Carlos Berlocq yesterday to give the Czech Republic an unbeatable 3-1 lead. Berdych and Radek Stepanek defeated Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank in the doubles, while Monaco beat Ivo Minar in the final singles match.
It was Argentina’s first defeat at the Parque Roca and it the first time it lost on clay at home since 1998.
“The whole team had that belief that we could make it,” Berdych said on the tournamant’s website. “It’s not impossible to win in Argentina as we proved.”
Spain beat Argentina in the 2008 and 2011 finals, and was host for the 2009 win over the Czech Republic. The Czechs won the competition as part of the former Czechoslovakia in 1980.
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