Spain beat Israel to claim Davis Cup final berth
Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez beat Israeli doubles specialists Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 7-6 6-7 6-4 6-2 to put champions Spain through to their fifth Davis Cup final in 10 years.sports Updated: Sep 19, 2009 23:56 IST
Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez beat Israeli doubles specialists Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram 7-6 6-7 6-4 6-2 on Saturday to put champions Spain through to their fifth Davis Cup final in 10 years.
Juan Carlos Ferrero and David Ferrer opened a 2-0 lead for the home side with crushing victories in Friday's singles and the win for Robredo and Lopez gave Spain an unassailable 3-0 advantage in the best-of-five tie on the clay in Murcia.
Top-ranked Spain, winners in 2000, 2004 and 2008, will play Czech Republic at home in December's final.
Czechs Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych, who both won in Friday's singles, paired up on Saturday to beat Marin Cilic and Lovro Zovko and send the visitors through in Porec.
Israel stunned 2006 champions Russia to progress to the last four for the first time and were relying on Erlich and Ram, 2008 Australian Open winners, to keep the tie alive.
But Spain had won their previous 16 home ties and last 18 on their favoured clay and were roared on by the vocal home support, complete with brass band, at the packed 12,000-seater arena.
Robredo and Lopez grabbed a crucial break on the Erlich serve in the third game of the fourth set.
The Israeli suffered a season-ending injury to his right elbow in 2008 and play was interrupted so he could have treatment on what appeared to be a recurrence of the problem.
Spain then broke again for 4-1 and sealed victory on their first match point when Robredo put away an angled volley.