Gijon: Holders Spain clinched a berth in their fourth Davis Cup final in five years when David Ferrer overcame the big-serving John Isner to help beat the United States 3-1 in the last-four tie in Gijon on Sunday.
World No. 5 Ferrer had to fight from a set down on the clay in the northern Spanish city, coming through 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 against the 10th-ranked Isner for his 16th victory in 16 singles rubbers on clay.
Isner said before the match Ferrer was probably his favourite player on the tour for his work ethic and fighting qualities but it was the American who battled back from a break down to take the opening set 7-3 in the tiebreak.
Ferrer flung his racket into the crowd before he, Isner and captains Alex Corretja and Jim Courier shook hands at the net. Shortly after it was announced that Nicolas Almagro and Sam Querrey would not contest the final rubber.
Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych defeated Carlos Berlocq in three sets on Sunday to put the Czech Republic into the final against Spain.
Berdych had few problems with Berlocq, winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 to give the Czechs an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the semi-final. Berlocq filled in for Juan Martin del Potro, who missed the decisive reverse singles with a left-wrist injury.
The Czechs return to the final for the second time in four seasons, and will host it in November. They will have a chance to avenge the 2009 final defeat to Spain.
Del Potro, the former US Open champion, defeated Radek Stepanek on Friday but was ruled out for Sunday by the Argentina team doctor who said the match made his injury worse. Del Potro has a history of wrist injuries.