Davis Tie Handed to Russia by Injury

APTomas Berdych receiving treatment for the injury that forced his retirement against Nikolai Davydenko on Sunday.
The Czech Republic conceded its Davis Cup quarterfinal to Russia on Sunday after Tomas Berdych injured his ankle against Nikolai Davydenko.

World No. 9 Berdych fell when he lunged for a forehand baseline shot on a break point against Davydenko's serve in the fourth game of the fifth set.

Elsewhere, Spain defeated Germany 3-0 on Saturday, while the United States and Argentina will take 2-1 leads into the reverse singles against France and Sweden respectively.

A doctor bandaged up Berdych's ankle but eventually he limped off, handing Davydenko a 6-3, 2-6, 6-7, 6-3, 1-2 victory and dashing the Czechs' hopes of an upset victory over Russia, which has not lost at home since 1995.

With the tie poised at 2-1 to Russia, Berdych had to defeat world No. 4 Davydenko, whom he had failed to beat in six previous meetings.

But on Sunday, in front of a partisan Moscow crowd, Berdych pushed Davydenko to his limits during a match in which the momentum seesawed.

Berdych injured his ankle just as Davydenko's serve was looking increasingly vulnerable.

The teams had split Friday's singles, with Marat Safin beating Berdych in five sets before Radek Stepanek's three-set win over Igor Andreyev leveled the tie. Davydenko and Andreyev beat Stepanek and Pavel Vizner in Saturday's doubles.

Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev left Davydenko out of Friday's singles after he arrived late in Moscow following his Miami triumph last weekend.

Russia will face Argentina or Sweden in the semifinals in September.

Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez displayed nerves of steel to win a marathon doubles match Saturday and propel Spain into the Davis Cup semifinals.

They battled for almost five hours before grinding out a 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 12-10 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber and Philipp Petzschner, giving Spain an unbeatable 3-0 lead over Germany in Bremen.

The two-time champion is now eager to meet holders the United States and avenge last year's 4-1 quarterfinal defeat.

"We'd rather face the U.S. as we'd be at home," Spain captain Emilio Sanchez said. "It would be great to have another go at them after losing over there last year."

The Americans lead their tie against France 2-1 in Winston-Salem and, despite going down in the doubles, will be favorites to seal their passage into the last four.

Top-ranked Mike and Bob Bryan missed out on a chance to become the most successful American doubles pairing when they lost 6-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra.

They had shared a 14-1 win-loss Davis Cup record with John McEnroe and Peter Fleming but must now wait before securing a 15th win.

David Nalbandian and Guillermo Canas made the most of the raucous Buenos Aires atmosphere to beat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman and Robert Linstedt 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 in an ill-tempered match.

Visiting teams have often complained about the crowd's overzealous behavior in Argentina and on Saturday it was the Swedes who found the Estadio Parque Roca an inhospitable place.

Tempers frayed in the second set when Sweden captain Mats Wilander, amid jeering and whistling, complained to the umpire that Nalbandian was using time-wasting tactics to disrupt his team's rhythm.

"I think they got a bit unnerved," Nalbandian said. "I wanted to make the public happy by winning, so we played every point as if it was the last."

Canas said the atmosphere was comparable to a football match.

"It was somewhat like football because representing Argentina is something unique, something which you feel in your skin," he said.