Belarus will face U.S. in semifinals

Updated: April 12, 2004, 8:31 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MINSK, Belarus -- Max Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov each won his second singles match of the weekend to wrap up Belarus' 5-0 victory over Argentina in the Davis Cup quarterfinals Sunday.

Mirnyi beat Lucas Arnold 6-1, 6-2 for his ninth straight Davis Cup singles victory, while Voltchkov defeated rookie Juan Monaco 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Mirnyi and Voltchkov also teamed to win Saturday's doubles match, clinching the hosts' first Davis Cup semifinal berth.

Argentina, a semifinalist the past two years, was missing its top two players: Guillermo Coria and David Nalbandian, both injured.

Belarus next faces the winner of the quarterfinal between the United States and Sweden.

France takes 3-2 win over Swiss
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Nicolas Escude beat Michel Kratochvil 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (6) to give France a 3-2 victory over Switzerland in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

France, which was beaten by Switzerland at the quarterfinal stage last year, will travel to Spain for the semifinals in September. Spain eliminated the Netherlands earlier.

France led the best-of-five series 2-1 heading into Sunday, but top-ranked Roger Federer tied it for the hosts by beating Arnaud Clement 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

Kratochvil was brought in as a late replacement for Ivo Heuberger, who lost heavily to Clement on the opening day, but the world No. 197 could not match Escude in front of a noisy, partisan home crowd.

Escude broke Kratochvil in the fifth game of the first set as the home player made a nervous start. However, the Swiss broke back in the eighth game and the set headed into a tiebreak.

Escude recovered to win the tiebreak 7-3 with Kratochvil wilting under the pressure.

Backed by a vocal French contingent, Escude took the second set by breaking Kratochvil in the 10th game.

The final set went with serve until Kratochvil was broken in the eighth game but Escude broke back immediately.

Kratochvil gained three set points at 6-3 in the tiebreak before losing five successive points to hand the match to Escude.

Spain reaches semifinals
PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain -- Juan Carlos Ferrero came back to beat Martin Verkerk 6-4, 6-7 (5), 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 Sunday in a rematch of the 2003 French Open final, clinching a Davis Cup semifinal berth for Spain.

The result gave the hosts a 3-1 edge over the Netherlands in their best-of-five series. Later, Carlos Moya defeated Sjeng Schalken 6-3, 6-4 to complete Spain's 4-1 victory.

Spain will face France in September's semifinals. The French eliminated Switzerland 3-2.

Verkerk just seemed to run out of gas late. He played singles Friday, and was part of the Dutch doubles team that completed a five-set victory in a match that started Saturday, was suspended by rain, and finished Sunday.

In the last set against Ferrero, Verkerk stopped chasing every shot and his serve speed dropped.

Earlier Sunday, Verkerk and John van Lottum completed a rally from two sets down to beat Tommy Robredo and Rafael Nadal 2-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

The doubles match was halted Saturday with Spain up 2-1 in sets. After a three-hour delay, the rain had tapered off, but it was too dark to play on the outdoor clay court in a converted bull ring on this Mediterranean island.

When action resumed Sunday, the Dutch doubles team jumped to leads of 4-1 in the fourth set and 3-0 in the fifth.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.

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