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Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:12 UK

Spain knock US out of Davis Cup

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates the win
Nadal is hoisted onto the shoulders of his team-mates after his crushing win

Spain's Rafael Nadal beat Andy Roddick in straight sets to put defending champions the United States out of this year's Davis Cup.

Nadal's 6-4 6-0 6-4 win gave Spain an unassailable 3-1 lead, taking them through to the final where they will face Argentina, who beat Russia 3-2.

The world number one was in imperious form on the clay in Madrid, breaking Roddick's serve five times.

David Ferrer and Sam Querrey's final singles match is now a dead rubber.

Playing at the Las Ventas bullfighting arena, Nadal put Roddick to the sword with his array of passing shots winning a huge ovation from the partisan home crowd.

It is the latest chapter in a dream year for Nadal, coming after his wins at the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics and his claiming of the number one spot.

US pairing Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish had kept their team's hopes alive on Saturday with a thrilling 4-6 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-4 defeat of Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in the doubles.

Fish was only playing because of a shoulder injury to Bryan's usual partner, his brother Bob.

But after a hesitant start that saw Lopez and Verdasco take the opening set, he proved to be a strong partner.

Nadal had survived an early scare against Davis Cup debutant Querrey before winning in four sets in Friday's opener.

The French Open and Wimbledon champion initially struggled to contain Querrey's powerful serve and forehand and had to recover from the initial shock of being put on the back foot by an opponent just out of his teens.

The 20-year-old took the first set on a tie-break but Nadal fought back to win 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 6-4.

Never in my life have so many service points been scored against me on clay

Rafael Nadal

In Friday's second match world number five Ferrer rallied to beat Roddick 7-6 (7-2) 2-6 1-6 6-4 8-6.

Spain will play Argentina in the final in November after they completed a 3-2 win over Russia in Buenos Aires.

Russia's Nikolay Davydenko came from behind to beat David Nalbandian 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2) 6-0, bringing his side level at 2-2.

But Argentina secured victory when Juan Martin del Potro defeated Igor Andreev 6-4 6-2 6-1 in the decisive encounter.

On Friday, Nalbandian had swept Andreev aside to claim a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-4 win but Del Potro's victory over Davydenko was even more one-sided, the 19-year-old dropping only seven games against the world number six on his way to a 6-1 6-4 6-2 win.

Elsewhere in the Davis Cup, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka teamed up for the first time since winning Olympic gold in Beijing to clinch Switzerland's place in the elite World Group.

They beat Belgium's Xavier Malisse and Olivier Rochus 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-3 on Saturday, giving the Swiss an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Individually they had got off to a perfect start on Friday, as world number nine Wawrinka eventually beat 58th-ranked Steve Darcis 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 6-3 2-6 6-4 in the first singles match.

US Open champion Federer saw off world number 95 Kristof Vliegen 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-2.

see also
Murray v Querrey as it happened
30 Jul 08 |  Tennis

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