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Israel stun Russia to reach Davis Cup semis

  • Story Highlights
  • Israel shock former champions Russia to reach Davis Cup semis for first time
  • Israel will face either holders Spain or Germany in September for place in final
  • United States trailing Croatia 2-1 after Bryan brothers win their doubles rubber
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(CNN) -- Israel reached the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time in their history by stunning 2002 and 2006 champions Russia 3-0 in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

Andy Ram (left) and Jonathan Erlich celebrate Israel's stunning Davis Cup victory over Russia.

Andy Ram (left) and Jonathan Erlich celebrate Israel's stunning Davis Cup victory over Russia.

The home side took an unassailable 3-0 lead when Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram clinched the crucial point beating Igor Kunitsyn and Marat Safin 6-3 6-4 6-7 4-6 6-4 in the doubles.

With the two remaining singles matches now dead rubbers, Israel will face either defending champions Spain or Germany in September.

Israel's previous best performance in the Davis Cup was in 1987 when they reached the quarterfinals only to lose to India.

On Friday, they had opened up a 2-0 lead when Harel Levy beat Igor Andreev 6-4 6-2 4-6 6-2 before Dudi Sela saw off Mikhail Youzhny 3-6 6-1 6-0 7-5.

Meanwhile, world number one pair Bob and Mike Bryan kept the United States alive in their quarterfinal against Croatia in Porec with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 doubles win over Roko Karanusic and Lovro Zovko.

Croatia still lead the tie 2-1 ahead of Sunday's reverse singles, where Marin Cilic will tackle James Blake with Ivo Karlovic facing Mardy Fish.

The eventual winners will meet either the Czech Republic or 2008 runners-up Argentina in the last four.

The Czechs opened up a 2-1 lead in Prague when Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek saw off Jose Acasuso and Leonardo Mayer 6-1 6-4 6-3 after the two teams had shared Friday's opening singles.

In Marbella, defending champions Spain, playing without injured world number two Rafael Nadal, opened up a 2-1 lead over Germany when Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco defeated Nicolas Kiefer and Mischa Zverev 6-3 7-6 6-7 6-3.

Verdasco had given Spain the early advantage on Friday with a five-set defeat of Andreas Beck, Philipp Kohlschreiber's straight-sets win over Tommy Robredo brought the scores level.

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