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'Near Perfect' Rafa Leads Spain Into Final; Argentina Next  

2008-09-22 23:57:16|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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            September 21, 2008    DAVIS CUP SEMIFINALS--Madrid, Spain

 

© AFP/Getty Images

Near Perfect Rafa Leads Spain Into Final; Argentina Next - Kelvin - ...        Argentina will host Spain in the Davis Cup final from November 21-23 after the two nations respectively defeated Russia and defending champion U.S. on Sunday.

Argentina is looking to win its first Davis Cup title after coming up just shy of victory in 1981 against the U.S. and in 2006 against Russia, both of which were away ties. Spain is through to it sixth Davis Cup final, and its first since defeating the U.S. for the 2004 title. The Spaniards won their first Davis Cup title in 2000 by defeating Australia, and were runners-up to Australia in 1965, '67 and 2003.

Spain has won its previous two meetings against Argentina, when they played host in the 1926 quarterfinals and 2003 semifinals.

SPAIN 4, UNITED STATES 1

Plaza de Toros Las Ventas, Madrid, Spain

ATP World No. 1 Rafael Nadal clubbed 60 winners to clinch the decisive singles against American Andy Roddick and lead Spain into the Davis Cup final. Nadal, who needed four sets on Day 1 to defeat Sam Querrey, dismissed Roddick 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 to give the host nation an unbeatable 3-1 lead.

"Today I play an almost perfect match and it is very, very exciting," said Nadal, who has now won ten straight Davis Cup singles matches. "Today I played very well. I shocked myself with some of the winners I played... was near perfect tennis."

Roddick, who failed to convert on seven break point chances against Nadal, said: "He's possibly the best clay-courter ever so it’s tough, especially when he hits like he did today."

The 26-year-old Roddick had entered the semifinal tie with a nine match winning streak in Davis Cup singles action, but lost to World No. 5 David Ferrer in an 8-6 fifth set on Friday to put the defending champions behind 0-2. Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish had kept U.S. hopes alive when they prevailed against Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in five sets in the doubles rubber on Saturday.

The Americans had previously rallied once in 32 attempts when trailing 0-2 -- 74 years ago against Great Britain. The last time the U.S. reached back-to-back finals was in 1991-92.

Feliciano Lopez closed the semifinal tie with a 7-6(3), 7-6(4) win against Querrey in a match that featured no breaks of serve.

ARGENTINA 3, RUSSIA 2

Estadio Parque Roca, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Near Perfect Rafa Leads Spain Into Final; Argentina Next - Kelvin - ...        Rising star Juan Martin del Potro pulled together a clutch performance to send host nation Argentina into its third Davis Cup final, defeating Russian Igor Andreev 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 in the fifth rubber.

The youngster, who celebrates his 20th birthday Tuesday, got off to a quick start in the decisive match as he broke Andreev in the opening game. After saving four break point chances faced in the first set, del Potro put forth a dominant effort the remainder of the way. He broke Andreev's serve twice in the second set, and converted on all three of his break points in the lopsided third set to secure the victory

"It’s a dream for sure," said del Potro, who recently became the first player in history to win his first four ATP titles in as many tournaments. "Last night I couldn't sleep and now I'm living the dream for sure. On Friday I won my first match here in Buenos Aires, now I've won my second and we're in the final. I want to treasure this moment because I don't know if it will happen again."

Del Potro's countryman, World No. 7 David Nalbandian, failed to clinch Argentina's win earlier in the day as he fell to No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-0. It marked Nalbandian's first Davis Cup singles loss on clay (9-1).

Two-time finalist Argentina has been invincible on home soil since 1998, when it lost to the Slovak Republic in the World Group Qualifying Round. Argentina has now won 13 straight ties at home, including 4-1 victories over Great Britain and Sweden this year.

Saturday: Americans & Russians Fight Back On Day 2

Friday: Spain, Argentina Take 2-0 Leads On Opening Day

Live Scores Of Semifinal Ties Available At Official Website

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