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OddJack
09-18-2009, 10:05 AM
TORRE PACHECO, Spain Defending champions Spain shrugged off the absence of Rafael Nadal to stay on course for their seventh Davis Cup final on Friday after cruising to a 2-0 lead over Israel in the semi-finals.

David Ferrer swept past Harel Levy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 before Juan Carlos Ferrero outclassed Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-2, 6-0.

Ferrer, the world number 19, took one hour and 53 minutes to overcome Levy, ranked 121 places below him, at the Polaris World la Torre Golf Resort in Murcia, south-eastern Spain.

After losing the first set in 25 minutes, Levy was more aggressive in the second, opening up a 3-1 lead, but failed to break down the claycourt specialist. Ferrer then broke twice in the third set to take the match.

But the 27-year-old Spaniard admitted that "it wasn't easy" for him.

"He didn't play so well in the first set, and in the second I was a break down," said the Spaniard.

Levy acknowledged that he wasn't at his best on the day that Israel played their first Davis Cup semi-final.

"I didn't serve well. David played well and didn't make a lot of unforced errors. I created opportunities, I had my chances but I didn't take them."

Ferrero, ranked 21, said his match against Sela was harder for him than the score suggested.

"The first set was very tough because we played a lot of rallies and he was playing well from the baseline," the Spaniard said.

"He surprised me a little bit because he was so solid with his backhand," he said of the Israeli world number 29, who won both his singles matches when Israel edged Sweden 3-2 in the first round in March.

Spain can secure the tie with a win in Saturday's doubles in which Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo face Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram.

But Ferrero said Israel are still a threat in the tie.

"It's now a little bit easier for them to play with less pressure," he said.

Ferrero had replaced world number two Nadal, who was ordered to rest by doctors after suffering from an abdominal problem at the US Open, where he was eliminated in the semi-finals.

Nadal's absence had buoyed Israel, who also stunned two-time champions Russia 4-1 in the quarter-finals in July.

Spain, though, have won all three of their previous Davis Cup meetings with Israel and boast an impressive record of 16 straight wins at home and 18 consecutive victories on clay.

The winner of the tie will face either Croatia or the Czech Republic in the final in December.

Spain have won the Davis Cup three times, in 2000, 2004 and last year, and appeared in six finals.

Source: AFP

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/media/ALeqM5gztJxNTKvSoBYKRoqhXxlsTJA7EQ?size=s2

phishua
09-18-2009, 01:47 PM
Happy for JC Ferrero. He deserved to be put on the squad in the first place, he's playing better than both Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez at the moment.