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Ferrer Hands Spain Advantage; Almagro Edges Isner

Almagro© Getty ImagesNicolas Almagro edged American John Isner in five sets to give Spain a 2-0 lead.

Parque Hermanos Castro, Gijon, Spain (clay – outdoor)

David Ferrer maintained his unbeaten record in Davis Cup clay-court rubbers (15-0) by beating American Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in just over three hours on Friday in the semi-finals. Ferrer has a 20-4 record overall for Spain.

“I think the first set, he was playing more aggressive than me. I broke him the first game but he played good in the final [part] of the first set,” assessed Ferrer. “In the second set, I broke the first game and I played more consistent and solid... I could have lost the fourth set. He had a lot of chances. I was very focussed on every break point down. Finally I broke him in the last game.”

Nicolas Almagro outlasted John Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in four hours and 16 minutes to extend Spain’s advantage heading into Saturday’s doubles rubber.

“It was very tough,” Almagro said. “I think he served really good. I didn’t feel very comfortable at the court when he was serving. But we are happy because it’s Friday and we’re 2-0 up.”

Almagro converted three of his 19 break points and won 77 per cent of his first serve points to notch his second straight win over the American, having won their second-round encounter at Wimbledon last year.

“I think I missed three volleys in that last game and I should’ve made all of them. So, maybe, fatigue made those routine shots a little harder,” said Isner. “That was really disappointing because I did such a good job the whole fourth and fifth set of just hanging in there and I just kind of gave it away at the end.”

The defending champion Spaniards last lost a home tie in 1999 against Brazil. Five-time titlist Spain has won 25 straight ties on clay since that defeat. Italy has the longest run of home wins with 28 from 1949 to 1964.

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