USA captain Mardy Fish says "it stinks" after side knocked out in Davis Cup quarter-finals with 2-1 defeat to Italy; Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini beat Jack Sock and Tommy Paul in doubles as Italy join Croatia, Australia and Canada in semi-finals; Canada clinch place by beating Germany
Thursday 24 November 2022 23:30, UK
USA's bid for a record-extending 33rd Davis Cup title is over after they lost a doubles decider to Italy in Thursday's quarter-final in Malaga.
Italy's Simon Bolelli and Fabio Fognini beat Tommy Paul and Jack Sock 6-4 6-4 to secure a 2-1 win and their country's first semi-final in eight years, in which they will play Germany's conquerors Canada.
The singles rubbers were split between the nations, with Lorenzo Sonego putting Italy 1-0 up by virtue of a 6-3 7-6 (9-7) success over Frances Tiafoe before USA levelled proceedings as Taylor Fritz saw off Lorenzo Musetti 7-6 (10-8) 6-3.
That meant a doubles fixture was needed for the first time in this season's quarter-finals, with Croatia and Australia having recorded 2-0 wins over Spain and Netherlands respectively earlier this week.
Bolelli and Fognini broke Paul and Sock once in each set to move Italy closer to a first Davis Cup title since 1976.
USA have not won the Davis Cup since 2007, with captain Mardy Fish saying: "I have wanted to win this thing for a very long time as a player and captain.
"It is not going to happen this year and it stinks. We are going home without the trophy, which is a bummer."
A deciding doubles was also required in Thursday's second semi-final, with Canada's Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil inflicting a first Davis Cup defeat on Germany's Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz as they won 2-6 6-3 6-3.
Krawietz and Puetz had won each of their previous eight matches together in the competition but came unstuck against Canada as Shapovalov atoned for his earlier singles loss to Jan-Lennard Struff.
Shapovalov, the World No 18, had suffered a shock 3-6 6-4 6-7 (2-7) defeat to Struff, only for Canada to then rebound and set up a deciding rubber as World No 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Oscar Otte 7-6 (7-1) 6-4.
Krawietz and Puetz took the first set in the doubles but Canada rallied to clinch a last-four meeting with Italy on Saturday and stay in the hunt for a maiden Davis Cup crown, with their best result so far when they finished runners-up to Spain in 2019.
Croatia and Australia will contest Friday's first semi-final with the final then taking place on Sunday.