Skip to main content

Spain surge into lead against U.S. in Davis Cup semis

updated 6:25 PM EDT, Fri September 14, 2012
Nicolas Almagro (pictured) and David Ferrer have put Spain firmly in control of their Davis Cup semifinal against the U.S.
Nicolas Almagro (pictured) and David Ferrer have put Spain firmly in control of their Davis Cup semifinal against the U.S.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spain take a 2-0 lead after the first day singles with victories for Ferrer and Almagro
  • Juan Martin del Potro completes easy win over Radek Stepanek before Tomas Berdych draws Czech Republic level
  • Berdych fought back against Juan Monaco to win in five sets to tie match at 1-1

(CNN) -- Spain took a giant step towards the Davis Cup final winning both singles matches in their semifinal against the U.S. in Gijon on Friday.

In the absence of an injured Rafael Nadal, it was David Ferrer who got the defending champions off to a perfect start on the clay against world No.26 Sam Querrey.

The world No.5 lost the opening set but quickly reasserted his authority over Querrey, overrunning the American in the following three sets to win 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-4.

"It was a hard match, difficult at every moment. Querrey played a very good match but in the end I was up to it," Ferrer said.

Rafael Nadal: Drink responsibly
Graf: The changing face of German tennis

Ferrer was followed on court by Nicolas Almagro and John Isner who played out a thrilling five-set match.

The match ebbed and flowed with neither player able to grab the momentum for long, but it was the Spaniard who got over the line, much to the delight of a patriotic home crowd.

Isner fought bravely to deny Almagro three match points in the ninth game of the deciding set, before the world No.12 sealed victory with a fourth in the 12th to win 6-4 4-6 6-4 3-6 7-5.

"It was very tough. I knew everything about John Isner well. 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 said.

Meanwhile in the other semifinal, Juan Martin del Potro made the perfect start for Argentina against the Czech Republic in Buenos Aires.

Despite nursing an injured wrist, the world No.8 trounced Radek Stepanek 6-4 6-4 6-2 at the Parque Roca stadium.

"It was very difficult to play with a hurt wrist, but the crowd was fantastic. I am very passionate about playing for my country. I like to give them a good show," del Potro said.

Argentina, who were runners-up to Spain last year, looked on course for a 2-0 lead heading into Saturday's doubles when Juan Monaco took a two sets to one lead in the other singles match against Tomas Berdych.

But the world No.6, who beat Roger Federer at the U.S. Open last week before losing to Andy Murray in the semifinals, produced an inspired comeback to keep the Czechs firmly in contention for their second final in four years.

Berdych took the first set comfortably enough 6-1, before Monaco, cheered on by home support, stormed back into the match winning the next two sets 6-4 6-1.

But Berdych's fighting spirit saw him take the final two sets 6-4 6-4 to leave the teams tied at 1-1.

Saturday's doubles matches see Argentine pairing Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank take on Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol -- who dumped Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon in June.

Spain can book a place in the final if Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez can upset world No.1 doubles pair, Bob and Mike Bryan.

Despite the deficit, U.S. captain Jim Courier tried to remain upbeat about his team's chances.

"I like our team and I'm very happy with the team we have here. We will miss Andy Roddick but things change and we have to change with them," Courier said, DavisCup.com reported.

"And we'll be ready for Sunday. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed, we have to come and win that (doubles), but John and Sam will be ready for Sunday," he added.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT