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Spain finishes off Austria in Davis Cup QFs



Castellon, Spain (Sports Network) - Trying for a fourth Davis Cup championship in five years, Spain is into the semifinals after a victory over Austria on Sunday.

David Ferrer secured an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie with a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Jurgen Melzer. The reigning champions will host the United States, September 14-16. The U.S. clinched their quarterfinal matchup against France on Sunday when John Isner beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.

Spain hasn't lost a Davis Cup home tie since 1999, winning 23 straight.

"I'm playing with a lot of confidence," Ferrer said. "I didn't make mistakes."

The mighty Spaniards opened a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five tie on Friday after straight-set singles wins from Nicolas Almagro and Ferrer, but the Austrian duo of Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya gutted out a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (14-12) win over the Spanish tandem of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez on Saturday.

That set up Ferrer's victory on Sunday. The world No. 5 took advantage of 58 unforced errors by his opponent to cruise to victory in less than 2 1/2 hours. Ferrer moved to 13-0 lifetime in Davis Cup matches on clay.

"I think it was a much higher level from my side compared to Friday," Melzer said. "I have been playing better tennis. I was able to keep the ball in longer and hit a few more winners. It was fun to be out there today."

The Spaniards were able to gain a semifinal berth despite playing without superstar Rafael Nadal, who decided against playing Davis Cup this year to limit his schedule.

The Spaniards have been the most dominant force in Davis Cup since 2000, winning five of the last 12 titles, including last year's championship against Argentina. Austria has never won the chalice.

Almagro beat Peya, 7-5, 7-5 in the dead singles rubber.

04/08 11:35:54 ET


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