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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
Davis Cup semi-finals all square
Ivan Ljubicic triumphed in a five-set scrap to put Croatia level in their Davis Cup semi-final against Russia.

Ljubicic beat Mikhail Youzhny 3-6 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-4 to leave the tie balanced at 1-1 after Mario Ancic was outclassed 7-5 6-4 5-7 6-4 by Nikolay Davydenko.

In the other semi-final, David Nalbandian battled past Dominik Hrbaty 3-6 7-5 7-5 6-3 to pull Argentina back level with early leaders Slovakia.

Earlier Karol Beck beat Guillermo Coria 7-5 6-4 6-4.

Beck broke eighth-ranked Coria once in each set on a hard court in Bratislava. Beck broke Coria once in each set.

Argentina, playing its third semi-final in four years, are the strong favourites against a Slovakia team making its debut in the last four.

In Split, Croatia, 26-year-old Ljubicic kept his nerve to clinch victory in three hours two minutes helped by his powerful first serve.

Croatia, aiming to reach their first Davis Cup final, had a poor start to the day when Ancic made little impression against world number seven Davydenko despite racking up 23 aces.

Meanwhile, Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu showed no mercy to an outclassed Pakistan as Chile took a 2-0 lead in their Davis Cup World Group play-off.

World number 18 Gonzalez, who won doubles gold with Massu at last year's Olympics, crushed the 988th-ranked Aqeel Khan 6-0 6-0 6-1 in Santiago.

Massu, who also won men's singles gold in Athens, eased to a 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win over Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi.

But Qureshi said: "We have a good doubles record. The tie's still alive."

  • Lee Hyung-Taik and Kwon Oh-Hee also gave South Korea a 2-1 lead in their Asia/Oceania Zone Group II final cup clash with New Zealand when they defeated Mark Nielsen and Dan King-Turner 6-2 6-2 6-2.

    Earlier, Lee Hyung-Taik had given the visitors a 1-0 lead when he beat Dan King-Turner 6-1 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

    But Mark Neilsen then squared the tie when Im Kyu-Tae retired hurt.


    Results of Davis Cup World group play-off matches on Friday:

    Austria 1-1 Ecuador
    Juergen Melzer (Aut) bt Giovanni Lapentti (Ecu 6-1 6-0 6-2 Nicolas Lapentti (Ecu) bt Stefan Koubek (Aut) 5-7 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 7-5

    Czech Republic 1-1 Germany
    Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Tommy Haas (Ger) 4-6 4-6 6-1 7-6 (11-9) 6-3
    Nicolas Kiefer (Ger) beat Tomas Zib (Cze) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-4 6-2

    Italy 1-1 Spain
    Andreas Seppi (Ita) bt Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spa) 5-7 3-6 6-0 6-3 6-2
    Rafael Nadal (Spa) bt Daniele Bracciali (Ita) 6-3 6-2 6-1

    India 0-1 Sweden
    Jonas Bjorkman (Swe) bt Prakash Amritraj (Ind) 6-4 6-4 6-4
    Thomas Johansson (Swe) leads Rohan Bopanna (Ind) 7-6 (7-3) 6-6

    Switzerland 2-0 Britain
    Roger Federer (Swi bt Alan Mackin (GB) 6-0 6-0 6-2
    Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) bt Andrew Murray (GB) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-4

    Belgium 1-1 US
    Olivier Rochus (Bel) bt James Blake (US) 6-4 7-5 6-1
    Andy Roddick (US) bt Christophe Rochus (Bel) 6-1 6-2 6-3


    Asia/Oceania Zone Group II final:

    New Zealand 1-2 South Korea


  • SEE ALSO
    Flawless Federer crushes Mackin
    23 Sep 05 |  Tennis
    Brits spring Davis Cup surprise
    23 Sep 05 |  Tennis


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