17th of September 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Defending Davis Cup champions Spain will face the Czech Republic in November's Davis Cup final after defeating the United States team 3-1 in Gijon. David Ferrer beat John Isner in four sets to seal the victory after Spain had won the opening two singles matches. Spain have won the Davis Cup three times in the last four years, with Serbia claiming the title in 2010.
The Czech Republic, who were defeated by Spain in the 2009 final, beat last year's runners-up Argentina 3-1. Tomas Berdych sealed the win by beating Carlos Berlocq, who played instead of the injured Argentinian number one Juan Martin del Potro.
Spain are hoping that Rafael Nadal will recover from a knee injury in time to help them retain the title. Nadal, a winner of 11 major tournaments, has not played since his shock second-round exit against Czech Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June. "I hope he gets better soon because he is really fundamental for us," said Ferrer.
World number five Ferrer, defeated by Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals, got Spain off to a good start in the tie by beating Sam Querrey 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-4 on Friday. Nicolas Almagro then beat Isner 6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 7-5 to put Spain in a solid position. Twins Bob and Mike Bryan gave the Americans hope with their 6-3 3-6 7-5 7-5 win over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in Saturday's doubles match. John Isner got off to a good start on Sunday as he took the first set in a tie-break but Ferrer fought back and snatched a 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-2 win.
In the other semi-final in Buenos Aires Del Potro beat Radek Stepanek 6-4 6-4 6-2 in Friday's opening singles match. Then world number six Berdych levelled the tie with a 6-1 4-6 1-6 6-4 6-4 victory over Juan Monaco. Berdych and Stepanek gave the Czechs the advantage by winning Saturday's doubles match, beating Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank 6-4 6-3 6-4. Juan Martin Del Potro, the world number eight, had been due to face Berdych in the singles on Sunday, but had to pull out after aggravating a left wrist injury, with Berlocq going down 6-3 6-3 6-4.
There are no clear favourites for the final yet, as Bet365 offers the same outright odds for both teams: 5/6.
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