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Spain To Face Isner-Inspired USA In SFs

Ferrer© Getty ImagesDavid Ferrer guided defending champion Spain into the Davis Cup semi-finals.

A round-up of the two Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group quarter-final ties on Sunday.

Clay, Outdoors - Castellon, Spain

World No. 5 David Ferrer secured defending champion Spain’s place in the Davis Cup semi-finals on Sunday as he defeated Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 to give the host nation a 3-1 lead. Austria had rallied from a 2-0 deficit by winning Saturday’s doubles, but could not prevent Spain from wrapping up a 23rd consecutive home win in Davis Cup competition.

Ferrer, who celebrated his 30th birthday six days ago, improved to a 19-4 Davis Cup singles record as he converted five of 14 break points and committed 18 fewer unforced errors than his opponent to claim victory in two hours and 24 minutes. Nicolas Almagro rounded out a 4-1 win for Spain as he defeated Alexander Peya 7-5, 7-5.

"I’m really happy to have won both my matches and that Spain are in the semi-finals again," said Ferrer. "I played with confidence and in the important moments I think I played better than him."

Spain won the Davis Cup trophy for the fifth time last year with victory over Argentina in the final in Seville and goes on to host the USA in the semi-finals.

Clay, Outdoors - Roquebrune Cap Martin, France

World No. 11 John Isner fired the USA into the semi-finals with his second win of the weekend on Sunday. The American followed up victory over Gilles Simon on Friday by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3 on Sunday at the Monte-Carlo Country Club to give the visiting nation an unassailable 3-1 lead.

"It was huge," declared Isner. "I've played a number of big matches this year and every time I seem to have risen to the occasion. This one is certainly right up there. I had to play my best this whole weekend. I'm very happy with how I played and it was obviously a very good win."

Watch Isner Interview 

It marks the USA’s second successive away win on clay in the ITF men’s team competition, having beaten a Roger Federer-led Swiss squad in the first round in February. The 32-time Davis Cup champion now has the unenviable task of ending Spain’s 23-tie unbeaten run on home soil when the teams meet in September’s semi-finals.

In his third career meeting with Tsonga, Isner was impenetrable on serve for two hours and 37 minutes, establishing up a two-set lead before Tsonga mounted a fight back in the 11th game of the third set. The French No. 1 engineered his first breakthrough as Isner double-faulted and subsequently drove the match into a fourth set. Isner rebounded strongly in the fourth set, though, breaking early and a strong serving performance allowed him to clinch victory in three hours and 21 minutes.

"[After the third set] Captain Courier told me I'm still closer to the finish line than he is," said Isner. "I tried to keep my foot on the gas pedal and I played a very good fourth set. Playing matches like this on a stage like this, I really relish the moment and just try to enjoy it."

In the final rubber, Gilles Simon defeated Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-3.

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Lionel Maltese


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