Holders Spain clinched a berth in their fourth Davis Cup final in five years when David Ferrer overcame the big-serving John Isner to help beat the United States 3-1 in the last-four tie in Gijon on Sunday.
World number five Ferrer had to fight from a set down on the clay in the northern Spanish city, coming through 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-2 against the 10th-ranked Isner for his 16th victory in 16 singles rubbers on clay.
Isner told Spanish TV before the match Ferrer was probably his favourite player on the tour for his work ethic and fighting qualities but it was the American who battled back from a break down to take the opening set 7-3 in the tiebreak.
Ferrer had to fight from a set down on the clay coming through 6-7 6-3 6-4 6-2 against the 10th-ranked Isner.
One U.S. fan held up a card counting each of Isner's booming aces -- he powered down 16 in the match to Ferrer's five -- but the American also made 70 unforced errors to Ferrer's 32 and he was visibly tiring as his challenge faded in the fourth set.
He saved a match point on his serve to stay in the match but it was merely delaying the inevitable as Ferrer sealed victory the next game when Isner went wide with a limp backhand.
Ferrer flung his racket into the crowd before he, Isner and captains Alex Corretja and Jim Courier shook hands at the net. Shortly after it was announced that Nicolas Almagro and Sam Querrey would not contest the final rubber.
Spain will play away against 2011 runners-up Argentina or Czech Republic in November's final.
The Czechs were in a strong position at 2-1 ahead after Saturday's doubles, with Tomas Berdych due to play Carlos Berlocq in Sunday's first reverse singles following the withdrawal through injury of Juan Martin del Potro.