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Tennis

Ferrer leads Spain into Davis Cup semifinals

David Ferrer secured defending champion Spain a place in the Davis Cup semifinals by beating Austria's Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 in Sunday's reverse singles for an insurmountable 3-1 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 even first set and didn't let up to claim Spain's 23rd straight home win, moving it into second place all-time for consecutive wins behind Italy's record of 28.

Nicolas Almagro beat Alexander Peya to complete a 4-1 victory for the Spanish.

The five-time champions will face the United States in the semifinals.

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