December 9, 2013
Spain, US to meet in Davis Cup semi-finals
Holders Spain clinched a Davis Cup semi-final berth at home to the United States when David Ferrer cruised to a 7-5 6-3 6-3 victory over Austria's Juergen Melzer to give the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead.
The tenacious Ferrer was far more consistent than an error-prone Melzer in blustery Marina d'Or and was rarely under pressure as he secured his second point of the best-of-five quarter-final after thrashing Andreas Haider-Maurer on Friday.
"It was quite an uncomfortable match but David was very focused and very disciplined," Spain captain Alex Corretja said in an interview with Spanish television after both players struggled with swirling gusts of wind and uneven bounce.
"It's great news that we are playing at home in front of our own fans in the semis," Corretja added.
Big-serving John Isner put the U.S. through in Monte Carlo when he fought past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 7-6 5-7 6-3 to inflict the first home defeat on France in the Davis Cup in six years.
The towering American, who humbled Gilles Simon in their singles on Friday before the Bryan brothers won Saturday's doubles, has been on fine form this year and was instrumental in putting his country through to the semi-finals for the first time since 2008.
"I gave everything I could in the battle," Tsonga said in a courtside interview. "I didn't have much luck today and John took his chances."
Defeat for France signaled the end of Guy Forget's stint as captain and he was gracious in defeat at the glamorous Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune.
"You have to congratulate him, John Isner was huge today," said Forget, who won the Davis Cup as a player with France in 1991 and 1996.
"He played very well and he has a lot of talent," Forget added. "(U.S. captain) Jim Courier is a great leader and he has a lot of class."