Ferrero, Ferrer hand Spain lead over Israel


Roared on by the boisterous home support in Murcia, former world number one Ferrero thumped Dudi Sela 6-4 6-2 6-0 after Ferrer had earlier thrashed Harel Levy 6-1 6-4 6-3.
Israel are through to the last four for the first time but must now win Saturday's doubles and the two reverse singles on Sunday if they are to upset the home side on their favoured clay surface.

Ferrero, a former French Open champion, has been enjoying a fine run of form, climbing back up the rankings to 21, and sealed victory against Sela on his first match point when the world number 29 went wide with a forehand.

Levy is ranked more than one hundred places below Ferrer and although he showed some fight in the second set of the opening singles to grab two breaks of serve the Spaniard easily came through.

Local favourite Ferrer, who was born just up the coast in Javea, was cheered on by top-10 pair Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco, both out injured, who were watching from the stands at the purpose-built, 12,000-seater arena.

Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez are due to take on doubles specialists Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram on Saturday and the winners of the tie will play Croatia or Czech Republic in the final at the beginning of December.

Results (prefix denotes seeding): At Murcia: 2-Spain lead Israel 2-0 (Juan Carlos Ferrero bt Dudi Sela 6-4, 6-2, 6-0; David Ferrer bt Harel Levy 6-1, 6-4, 6-3).

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