Nadal routs Roddick to lead Spain into Davis Cup final

September 21st, 2008 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Madrid, Sep 21 (DPA) Rafael Nadal endured a lengthy rain delay before assuring Spain a place in the Davis Cup final with a 6-4, 6-0, 6-4 mauling of American Andy Roddick Sunday.The November World Group final will be contested between the two-time champion Spaniards and the winner from Argentina-Russia tie being played in Buenos Aires with the South Americans ahead 2-1.

Spain will be bidding for a third Davis trophy after winning in 2000 over Australia and in 2004 against the US in Seville.

Nadal’s superiority on clay following a one-hour, 40-minute delay to the start of play at the Las Ventas bullring was unquestioned after the world number one claimed his 117th win on clay against just two defeats dating to April, 2005.

But the crowd favourite had to work to close out victory in just over two hours as Roddick saved three match points in the penultimate game.

The crowd of up to 21,000 were not disappointed in the end after their top player iced the 3-1 weekend victory over the holders, with Roddick losing two Davis singles matches after winning his previous nine.

Roddick, ranked eighth, dropped to 2-4 against Nadal after beating the Spaniard last February in Dubai.

The odds were stacked heavily against the visitors, who stood 0-2 after the opening day. The US has come back from that kind of deficit only once in 33 attempts, in 1934 against Australia.

Nadal earned the first set against Roddick - who had ended a nine-match Davis Cup win streak with his Friday loss to David Ferrer - with a break in the seventh game, as the American suddenly failed to make an impression in the second set.

The third also went Nadal’s way with Roddick’s late-match heroics only postponing the inevitable.

Both men fired eight aces - a low total for Roddick - with the American failing on all seven of his break points chances and dropping his own serve five times.

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