Favourites Spain knocked out

DUESSELDORF (Germany): Favourites Spain were knocked out of the 1.85mil World Team Cup here on Wednesday. 

Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja lost 6-3, 6-4 to Jiri Novak and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the deciding doubles of their Red Group match for a second successive defeat that meant they could not qualify for Saturday’s final.  

The match had been tied at 1-1 after Tuesday’s singles. 

Chile or Argentina will go head-to-head today to decide which team will contest the final. 

On Wednesday, both teams maintained their unbeaten record in the round-robin competition, with Chile beating Sweden and Argentina disappointing locals fans by defeating hosts Germany. 

In an intriguing battle between Australian Open finalist Rainer Schuettler and last year’s surprise Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian, it was Nalbandian who began as favourite after winning their two previous clashes on clay. 

And the Argentine made it three wins out of three as he fought off a strong challenge from Schuettler to win 6-4, 7-5. 

It was also Nalbandian’s fourth win in his six meetings with the German. 

Gaston Gaudio then overcame Tomas Berhend, who was unable to repeat Monday's heroic performance against Marcelo Rios, winning 6-2, 6-4.  

Chile also settled their tie by winning both singles matches, with Nicolas Massu beating Thomas Enqvist, and Fernando Gonzalez overcoming Magnus Norman, both winning 6-2, 6-3. – AFP 

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