US still alive in Davis Cup semifinals

Americans Mike Bryan (right) Bob Bryan knocked off Spain's Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in doubles to cut the Spaniards' Davis Cup semifinal lead to 2-1.

GIJON, Spain — The Bryan brothers delivered as expected on Saturday. That just leaves John Isner to perform the unexpected against defending champion Spain for the U.S. to possibly reach the Davis Cup final.


Mike and Bob Bryan won their doubles match against Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 to cut Spain’s semifinal lead to 2-1.

Today, Isner will face David Ferrer, who is 15-0 on clay in Davis Cup competition. Isner lost a draining five-set match on Friday to Nicolas Almagro.

“John knows how to separate yesterday from tomorrow,” U.S. captain Jim Courier said. “There will be no need for a fire-up speech. He’ll be ready.”

Should the former Georgia star win, teammate Sam Querrey will play Almagro for a spot in the final in November. The winner faces either Argentina or the Czech Republic.

“Until it’s over, I think Yogi Berra said it best,” Courier said.


In Buenos Aires, Argentina, late additions Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek won the doubles match to give the Czech Republic a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup semifinal against Argentina.

They defeated Eduardo Schwank and Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil replaced his announced doubles pair of Lukas Rosol and Ivo Minar with Berdych and Stepanek, using his top two players in a risky move to get an edge going into Sunday’s decisive reverse singles.

Berdych will face Juan Martin del Potro in the first match and Stepanek will play Juan Monaco.

WORLD TEAM TENNIS: In Charleston, S.C., Venus Williams has lifted the undefeated Washington Kastles to the World Team Tennis final with a 19-15 victory over the New York Sportimes.

Williams won the women’s singles, the final match Saturday night, 5-1 over the Sportimes Ashley Harkleroad to keep the Eastern Conference champion Kastles’ winning streak intact. The teams were tied at 14 going into the final match.

The Kastles, 15-0 on the season and winners of 31 consecutive WTT matches, will play against the Sacramento Capitals today in the championship.