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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ferrer holds off Isner to put Spain in final

Ferrer holds off Isner to put Spain in final

September 16, 2012 21:58 IST

Holders Spain clinched reached their fourth Davis Cup final in five years when David Ferrer overcame the big-serving John Isner to help beat the United States 3-1 in the last-four tie on Sunday.

World number five Ferrer had to fight from a set down on the clay in the northern Spanish coastal city, coming through 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 against the 10th-ranked Isner in exactly three hours for his 16th victory in 16 singles rubbers on clay.

"It was a very tough, very difficult tie but we are really happy as we are in another Davis Cup final, something that is extremely hard to achieve," Ferrer said in an interview with Spanish television.

"Now we just need to enjoy it and rest and prepare for the final," added the 30-year-old, who has won five titles this year and reached the U.S. Open semi-finals this month.

Spain will play away against Argentina or Czech Republic, whom they beat in the 2011 and 2009 finals respectively, in November's title clash. Those finals, their most recent meetings with the two nations, were at home and competition rules dictate the next must be away.

David FerrerThe Czechs were in a strong position at 2-1 ahead after Saturday's doubles in Buenos Aires, with Tomas Berdych due to play Carlos Berlocq in Sunday's first reverse singles following the withdrawal through injury of Juan Martin del Potro.

Ferrer said the Spanish were hoping talisman Rafa Nadal, who has not played since Wimbledon, would have shrugged off a knee injury in time to feature.

"Spanish tennis is blessed with very good players, led by Rafa Nadal, and we hope he recovers soon because he is fundamental for us," he added.

FIGHTING SPIRIT

Isner told Spanish TV before the match Ferrer was probably his favourite player on the tour for his work ethic and fighting spirit but it was the American who battled back from a break down to take the opening set 7-3 in the tiebreak.

One U.S. fan held up a card counting each of Isner's booming aces - he powered down 16 in the match to Ferrer's five - but the American also made 70 unforced errors to Ferrer's 32 and he was visibly tiring as his challenge faded in the fourth set.

He saved a match point on his serve to stay in the match but it was merely delaying the inevitable as Ferrer sealed victory the next game when Isner went wide with a limp backhand.

Ferrer flung his racket into the crowd before he, Isner and captains Alex Corretja and Jim Courier shook hands at the net. Shortly after it was announced that Nicolas Almagro and Sam Querrey would not contest the dead final rubber.

Top-ranked U.S. pair Bob and Mike Bryan had kept their team's hopes of upsetting the Spanish alive when they fought off a brave challenge from Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez to win their doubles on Saturday.

Ferrer and Almagro beat Querrey and Isner respectively in Friday's singles.

Favourites to win a fourth title in five years, Spain's latest success extended their unbeaten run at home to 24 ties dating back to 1999 when they lost 3-2 to Brazil in Lerida.

The U.S. are the most successful Davis Cup nation with 32 titles, while Spain have dominated the competition over the past decade, with four titles since their first one in 2000.

Photograph: Eloy Alonso / Reuters 

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