Winston-Salem, N.C. - The United States made it to the Davis Cup semifinals, sweating out a tough victory by the top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan.
The Bryan twins beat Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 7-5, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), Saturday to give the U.S. an insurmountable 3-0 lead in the best-of-five event, putting the Americans a step closer to their first Davis Cup title since 1995.
After dropping the third set on the fast, indoor hard court, the Bryans survived two break points at 4-4 in the fourth set before closing it out in the tiebreaker.
The U.S. eliminated a Spanish squad weakened by the absence of Rafael Nadal and will next play at Sweden on Sept. 21-23. Sweden downed Argentina, 3-0, on Saturday. In other quarterfinals, Germany ousted Belgium, 3-0, and Russia won its doubles to lead France, 2-1.
The Bryans improved to 11-1 in
the Davis Cup with a harder-than-expected match against an inexperienced team. They sealed the match on Bob Bryan's volley at the net, two points after Mike Bryan's net cord on Lopez's serve gave the U.S. a 6-4 lead.
The brothers immediately embraced, setting off a flag-waving celebration before a crowd of more than 14,000. The outcome provided a bit of revenge for the U.S. - Spain beat the Americans in the 2004 final.
With Nadal home resting a sore foot, the U.S. took a 2-0 lead Friday when Andy Roddick beat Verdasco and James Blake beat Tommy Robredo. Roddick and Blake watched the doubles match from the team area, and both took turns taking laps with the American flag.
Rusedski calls it a career
Birmingham, England - Greg Rusedski retired from tennis after a Davis Cup victory Saturday, ending a 16-year career in which he reached the U.S. Open final in 1997 and once was ranked No. 4. The 33-year-old left-hander won a doubles match to give Britain a 3-0 lead and a spot in the World Group playoffs.
Golovin, Petrova paired
Amelia Island, Fla. - France's Tatiana Golovin moved a step closer to her first WTA Tour singles title, beating Ana Ivanovic, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, in cold and windy conditions Saturday in the Bausch & Lomb semifinals. The eighth-seeded Golovin, 0-3 in WTA Tour finals, will face top-seeded Nadia Petrova, a 7-6 (4), 6-1 winner over Sybille Bammer.