OROPESA DEL MAR, SPAIN: David Ferrer maintained his unbeaten run in Davis Cup singles matches on clay by defeating Jurgen Melzer 75 63 63 and in doing so he booked Spain a place in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals where they will host USA.
The two No. 1 players took to the clay court of Marina d’Or, which was bathed in bright sunshine, for the final day’s play of the quarterfinal tie with Spain leading 2-1. A straightforward day for Ferrer and Spain’s No. 2 Nicolas Almagro on Friday had given the hosts a 2-0 lead, but a spirited performance from the Austrian doubles pairing of Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya on Saturday had kept Austria’s hopes alive and forced a decisive third day’s action.
The first set was a nervy affair with both players producing multiple double faults in the first few games. Melzer put his opponent under pressure from the outset, securing a break point in the first game which he was unable to convert. He soon faced break points of his own and managed to stave them off to keep the first set on serve until the 12th game, where he pushed a forehand wide at 15-40 to give Ferrer the first set.
From then on Ferrer was in control. He broke in the second game of the second set to take an early lead and was soon 3-0 up. Melzer tried to force his way back into the match and pegged back the early break only to be broken in the following game. It was only a matter of time before the second set went to the Spaniard.
By now Ferrer’s quality was shining through, producing too many winners from the back of the court to give the Austrian any chance of getting himself involved in the match. The 2010 Roland Garros semifinalist tried to mix up his shots but couldn’t find a way past the world No. 5, who seemed to be able to get a racket to everything. Melzer was broken in the seventh game, conceding victory in the ninth, when after saving two match points he was unable to stop a third. Ferrer is now 14-0 in singles matches on clay in Davis Cup.
“I’m really happy to have won both my matches and that Spain are in the semifinals again,” said Ferrer. “I played with confidence and in the important moments I think I played better than him.”
"It was more fun to be out there today to be honest," said Melzer. "Ferrer is a tough competitor, a great clay court player and he just proved why he is No. 5 in the world. I felt like I had a high level of tennis today but it just wasn't enough.
Almagro defeated Peya 75 75 in the 'dead' fifth rubber to complete a 4-1 scoreline for Spain.
David Ferrer (ESP) - 08/04/2012
Captain Alex Corretja (ESP) - 08/04/2012
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) - 08/04/2012
Captain Clemens Timmel (AUT) - 08/04/2012