Spain, Argentina march into final

Argentina knock Serbia out

The burly Tsonga had helped France to victory in Saturday's doubles to keep the best of five tie alive at 2-1 but was powerless against Nadal's relentless claycourt game as the world number two claimed his 17th win in 18 Davis Cup singles matches.

The victory gave Spain, who are bidding for a third title in four years and will play champions Serbia or Argentina in December's final, an unbeatable 3-1 lead, and Spain made it a perfect day when David Ferrer outclassed Giles Simon 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in the dead rubber.

After losing both singles in Belgrade on Friday, Serbia took Saturday's doubles to maintain their hopes of defending the title they won last year with a 3-2 victory over the French.

Nadal said he would prefer to play Argentina in the final as that would mean Spain would be at home and able to choose the venue and surface.

On another sweltering day in Cordoba, Nadal followed up his demolition of Richard Gasquet in Friday's opening singles with an equally commanding display on his favoured surface at the Andalusian city's converted bullring. The 25-year-old lost a gruelling US Open final to Novak Djokovic on Monday before flying straight back to Spain and he had little time to adjust to clay from hardcourts. He did not face a single break point against Tsonga, converting six of the 17 he created, and sealed victory on his first match point when the Frenchman went long with a backhand, sending the red and yellow-clad home support into raptures.

Argentina in final

Argentina took an unassailable 3-1 lead over Davis Cup holders Serbia in their semifinal after world number one Novak Djokovic retired hurt against Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday.

Del Potro was leading 7-6, 3-0 when Djokovic fell to the ground with a scream of pain, appearing to have twisted his ankle as he blazed a forehand wide. After he was helped to the bench by captain Bogdan Obradovic and his team-mates, a tearful Djokovic embraced Del Potro and received a standing ovation from the 18,000 home crowd in the Belgrade Arena. Three-times runners-up Argentina will play Spain in the final. Serbia reduced the margin, 3-2 when Argentine Juan Monaco retired after losing the first 2-6 against Janko Tipsarevic.

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