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Champions Spain reach Davis Cup semis

  • Story Highlights
  • Spain beat Germany 3-2 to set up a home Davis Cup semifinal against Israel
  • Israel completed a 4-1 win against Russia in Sunday's two dead rubbers
  • Croatia took an unassailable 3-1 lead against the United States to progress
  • Czech Republic will travel to Croatia in September after beating Argentina 3-2
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(CNN) -- Defending champions Spain battled into the Davis Cup semifinals with a 3-2 victory at home to Germany on Sunday, and will next face surprise package Israel.

Veteran clay specialist Juan Carlos Ferrero celebrates his decisive victory for Spain over Andreas Beck.

Veteran clay specialist Juan Carlos Ferrero celebrates his decisive victory for Spain over Andreas Beck.

The other last-four match will see Croatia, conquerors of the United States, take on the Czech Republic, who knocked out Argentina.

Juan Carlos Ferrero, in his first match since 2005, kept Spain's hopes alive with victory in the deciding rubber against Andreas Beck in Marbella as he replaced Tommy Robredo, who lost to Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday.

The former world No. 1 won 6-4 6-4 6-4 in two hours 26 minutes to set up a home clash with the Israelis, who completed a 4-1 victory over two-time champions Russia after taking an unassailable 3-0 lead with victory in the doubles on Saturday.

Spain led 2-1 after Saturday's doubles, but Kohlschreiber leveled the tie when he beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-2 1-6 2-6 8-6 in the first reverse singles match at the Puerto Banus bullring.

Israel conceded their first point against the Russians in Tel Aviv when Dudi Sela retired with a wrist injury while trailing 4-3 in the first set in his dead rubber with Igor Andreev.

But Levy edged past Igor Kunitsyn 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) for his second singles win as Israel celebrated reaching the semifinals for the first time.

In Porec, Marian Cilic gave Croatia an unbeatable 3-1 lead against the U.S. when he beat James Blake 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-2 on clay.

"I think this was one of the best matches I've played," Cilic told "I was a little tired from the five sets on Friday, and today I played a lot of it on adrenaline, the crowd was carrying me throughout the match.

"I really played well, I felt good on court, moved really well, and even though I lost the third set I felt I was playing good and my tactics were perfect, so I kept going and eventually broke him."

Blake suffered his second singles reverse, having also lost to big-serving Ivo Karlovic in five sets on Friday.

"Marin has played great this weekend. He took care of business against Mardy Fish, and he played a very solid match today," he said.

"I felt I gave him a few too many chances, I played a little too passive, didn't take as many risks as I normally do, and he took advantage of that. Any time I left the ball a little short or in his strike zone, he took care of it, and that's why he's as good as he right now."

Doubles specialist Bob Bryan reduced the deficit to 3-2 when he beat Roko Karanusic 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in the final rubber.

Croatia will have a home tie against the Czech Republic, to be played on September 18-20.

The Czechs went through to the semifinals for the first time since 1996 as Radek Stepanek clinched a 3-2 victory against Argentina in Ostrava on Sunday.

Juan Martin del Potro had leveled the tie for the visitors when he beat Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-4 6-4, but Stepanek defeated Juan Monaco 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 6-2 despite struggling with a knee injury following Saturday's doubles victory.

"It was the biggest effort I have ever done in Davis Cup," said Stepanek. "I had to really dig deep to step on the court. After the doubles I was 90 percent sure that I'm not able to play singles, but I was assured by the doctors that it was not going to damage my knee. I had to lie to myself that it didn't hurt."

All About SpainCroatiaCzech RepublicIsraelDavis CupTennis

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