Acasuso heroics help Argentina reach final
Argentina reached the Davis Cup final for the second time when victory in the doubles gave them an unassailable 3-0 lead over Australia in Buenos Aires yesterday.
David Nalbandian, a former runner-up at Wimbledon, and Agustin Calleri beat Paul Hanley and Wayne Arthurs 6-4 6-4 7-5 to put the Argentines, losing finalists in 1981, into December's final against either Russia or the United States.
Russia led 2-1 in the other semi-final in Moscow after the American twins Bob and Mike Bryan beat Mikhail Youzhny and Dmitry Tursunov 6-3 6-4 6-2.
Nalbandian had given Argentina their first point by beating Mark Philippoussis in the opening singles on Friday and Jose Acasuso finished off a see-saw five-set win over Lleyton Hewitt early yesterday.
The second rubber had been suspended due to rain and fading light on Friday evening with Acasuso 4-0 up in the fifth set.
After completing a 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-2 6-1 victory, Acasuso said: "I've beaten higher-ranked players in the past but to win at home in a Davis Cup semi-final with 14,000 people watching me here makes it one of the most important wins of my career."
Hewitt, the former world No 1, said the turning point came early in the fourth set when he squandered three break points and had his serve broken in the next game, before Acasuso went on to reel off eight games in a row. "It was not taking those half chances which made the difference," he said.