Holder Spain set up a heavyweight Davis Cup semifinal clash against the United States when David Ferrer cruised to a 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Austria’s Juergen Melzer to give the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead on Sunday.
All four ties were still open on the third day of the world Group quarter-finals and John Isner wrapped up victory for the US when he fought past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6, 5-7, 6-3 to inflict the first French home defeat in six years. Czech Republic went through on the other side of the draw after Tomas Berdych edged Janko Tipsarevic 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 in Prague as the home side gained revenge for their last-four defeat to Serbia in 2010. Their opponents in September’s semifinal will be Argentina, who is seeking to go one better than their runner-up finishes to Spain in 2008 and 2011. Juan Martin Del Potro was far too strong for Marin Cilic in the opening reverse singles in Buenos Aires, the world number 10 crushing the Croat 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 for a decisive 3-1 lead and sealing victory with an ace.