Monday, September 17, 2012

Spain, Czech to clash in Davis Cup final

Updated September 17, 2012 09:06:52

Defending champion Spain reached a sixth Davis Cup final in 10 years with victory over the United States and will tackle the Czech Republic, which shocked Argentina in Buenos Aires, in November's final.

The title clash will be a repeat of the 2009 championship match in which Spain routed the Czechs 5-0 on home clay in Barcelona.

But this time Spain will travel to the Czechs, who will have the choice of surface in the November 16-18 showdown.

Spain will be playing in its fourth final since 2008 after David Ferrer gave it a 3-1 victory over the United States, beating John Isner 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on the clay courts of Gijon.

"This is a dream for me - another Davis Cup final," Ferrer said.

"It was unbelievable, the atmosphere supported me the whole match."

The United States had kept the tie alive with a doubles victory by twins Bob and Mike Bryan on Saturday but US Open semi-finalist Ferrer, on his favourite red clay, prevailed over the world number 10 Isner.

"It's disappointing. The Spanish team was just too good," Isner said.

Ferrer, currently number one in his country's team in Rafael Nadal's absence, recorded his 16th Davis Cup victory in a row on clay while Spain clinched a 24th successive home victory in the tournament, a run stretching back to 1999.

Nadal could make a return for the final if he recovers from the knee injury that kept him out of the Olympics and the US Open, but Spain captain Alex Corretja avoided speculating.

"We will monitor the players over the coming weeks, talk to all those we think appropriate, and go and see what condition they are in and then choose the players we think appropriate," Corretja said.

"We always hope to count on everyone and obviously Rafa is the same as everyone else."

In Buenos Aires, world number six Tomas Berdych defeated Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 as the Czechs secured a 3-1 win over four-time runners-up Argentina.

Berlocq, the world 45, had been drafted in as replacement for eighth-ranked, former US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro who suffered a left wrist injury in his win over Radek Stepanek in Friday's opening singles.

The Czechs' only Davis Cup title came in 1980.

"People think it's impossible to win in Argentina, but we had belief and proved that it is possible," said Berdych, who beat Roger Federer on his way to the US Open semi-finals earlier this month.

In the play-offs, world number one Federer beat Robin Haase 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to put Switzerland 3-1 up against Netherlands in Amsterdam and secure his country's place in next year's World Group.

Sweden suffered its first whitewash since 2006 as Belgium swept back into the World Group in Brussels thanks to David Goffin beating Markus Eriksson 6-3, 6-4 and Steve Darcis seeing off Andreas Vinciguerra 6-4, 6-2.

The rout means that Sweden will be missing from the World Group for the first time in more than a decade.

In Tokyo, Amir Weintraub pulled off his second upset victory to give Israel a 3-2 win over Japan.

With the two teams tied at 2-2, Weintraub defeated Japan's number two Go Soeda 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-3.

Going into the final day, with Israel on a 2-1 lead, Japan's ace Kei Nishikori had made it 2-2 by beating Dudi Sela 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Elsewhere, Canada beat South Africa in Montreal, Kazakhstan saw off Uzbekistan in Astana, Italy defeated Chile in Naples while Brazil had already made sure of victory over Russia in Sao Jose do Rio Preto by taking a 3-0 lead overnight.


Tags: sport, tennis, spain

First posted September 17, 2012 07:43:03

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