Isner sets up Spain clash
Czechs bounce out Serbia, will face Argentina for place in final
Last Updated: 08/04/12 7:25pm
John Isner: Beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets as USA progressed
John Isner proved too strong for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the United States booked their place in the Davis Cup semi-finals on Sunday.
Isner beat the Frenchman 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 5-7 6-3 as USA set up a last-four clash with Spain.
Big-serving Isner built on the team's momentum after winning Saturday's doubles in straight sets, without facing a break point, while the pressure was clearly on the sixth-ranked Tsonga to level the match.
While Tsonga created plenty of chances, he could only break Isner's serve once in the match at the Monte Carlo Country Club.
"I gave everything I could in the battle," Tsonga said. "I didn't have much luck today and John took his chances. At 0-3 down in the fourth set, it became 'Mission Impossible.'"
Gilles Simon later beat Ryan Harrison 6-2 6-3 7-5 to make the final score 3-2.
Meanwhile, David Ferrer secured defending champions Spain a place in the semi finals by beating Austria's Jurgen Melzer 7-5 6-3 6-3 to set up an insurmountable 3-1 series lead.
Despite his unsteady serve and gusting winds, the fifth-ranked Ferrer had little trouble remaining perfect in 14 matches on home clay en route to recording Spain's first win over Austria in 33 years.
Ferrer broke Melzer in the last game of an evenly-contested first set and didn't let up to claim Spain's 23rd straight home win, moving them into second place all time for consecutive home wins behind Italy's record of 28.
Spain captain Alex Corretja said he was happy to face USA in September's semis.
"It's great news since we will play at home in front of our fans," Corretja said. "We now have four or five months for our guys to get prepared."
Nicolas Almagro, who had beaten in Melzer in Friday's opening round of singles, went on to beat Alexander Peya 7-5 7-5 in the final match. Spain are now undefeated in their last 23 ties on home soil.
In the other side of the draw, Tomas Berdych needed three tie-break sets to beat Janko Tipsarevic and send the Czech Republic into the semi-finals.
The world No.7 won 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7) in three hours and 45 minutes to give the Czechs an unassailable lead over Serbia at the O2 Arena in Prague.
It was Berdych's third winning rubber of the tie - all in straight sets - and means his country will face Argentina, who knocked out Croatia in Buenos Aires, in the final.
Juan Martin del Potro put Argentina into the last four for the third staight year with a 6-1 6-2 6-1 victory over Marin Cilic in the fourth rubber. Juan Monaco then completed a 4-1 triumph with a 6-1 6-1 demolition of Antonio Veic.