NAPLES, Italy -- Italy won both singles matches against Britain in straight sets on Sunday to reach the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time in 16 years. Fabio Fognini pulled off a surprise 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray to level the best-of-five quarterfinal at 2-2 before Andreas Seppi defeated James Ward 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the decisive match. "A great feat, a great success for all Italian tennis," Italy captain Corrado Barazzutti said. "It was time we got back to the semifinals. Its credit to everyone, to a team which has a great character. It was a victory of character." Britain was looking to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1981 but Fognini was in commanding form to end Murrays run of 19 consecutive singles victories in the competition. Seppi rarely struggled against a player ranked 127 places below him and comfortably served out for the match. Italy will play Switzerland in Septembers semifinal. "Today I just played better than Andy and thats tennis," Fognini said. "I was annoyed yesterday after the doubles. This was a very important victory, its certainly my best match in Davis Cup. I just stayed focused on my game and I managed to win." Fognini triumphed in the match between the countries top players, despite dropping his serve in the first game. The 13th-ranked Fognini managed to save two break points but double-faulted to hand Murray the opening game. Fognini had the opportunity to break straight back but hit long and then netted on another break point as Murray went on to take a 2-0 lead. In a typically lively Davis Cup atmosphere, British fans chanted "Fabio, we are in your head," but he was cheered on by the vociferous home support. Fognini broke Murray to love and earned another break when Murray double-faulted as he won five straight games to take the opening set. Murray almost dropped serve again early in the second set as he had to fend off two break points after being 40-0 up. However, Fognini broke twice at the end of the set following another double-fault from Murray on the first of two break points. The final set went with serve until the final game, when Fognini went up 40-0 on Murrays serve. Murray saved one match point when Fognini netted a forehand, and rescued the second with a crosscourt volley but hit the third into the net. It was Murrays second defeat in 20 singles matches in the Davis Cup. Fognini moved to 14-2 on clay this season. "He played very well today, thats for sure," Murray said. "Hes a very good player especially on this surface, so I knew it was going to be a tough one and I wasnt able to play well enough. I did OK physically, not the best, but Ive been worse." Italy had not lost at home to Britain since 1926, and Seppi protected that record by winning a match that saw seven breaks of serve in the opening set. Seppi was gifted the set after three successive errors from Ward and he held to love to take the opening game of the second. Ward missed a chance to get back into the match in the fifth game and Seppi took a decisive 4-2 lead when Ward volleyed into the net after saving three previous break points. Seppi held to love with a drop shot for a 2-0 lead in the match. Ward had to save another three break points in the first game of the third but Seppi won four games in a row en route to the victory. He sealed the win when Wards return sailed long. Jaromir Jagr Jersey
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. You can watch all the action on TSN2 beginning at 7pm et/4pm pt. Pineda won his second straight start last Wednesday against Chicago, as he held the Cubs to just four hits over six scoreless innings to run his record to 2-0, while lowering his ERA to 1.Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - With stingy defense and a balanced attack, the No. 6 Villanova Wildcats opened Big East play with a 67-55 win over the Butler Bulldogs. Ryan Arcidiacono led Villanova (13-0, 1-0 Big East) with 15 points and five assists. JayVaughn Pinkston netted 13 points and Daniel Ochefu chipped in 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots. This is not a team where you can key in on one or two guys, where you can neutralize them in a particular game, said Butler interim coach Chris Holtmann. One of the strengths of their team is balance. The Wildcats limited the Bulldogs to 35.5 percent shooting, including just 5- of-21 inside the arc in the second half. Butler (10-4, 0-1) was paced by Andrew Chrabasczs and Alex Barlows 12 points each. Kellen Dunham netted 10 points, but Roosevelt Jones was limited to eight on 4-of-15 shooting. Trailing just 36-32 at the break, Butler let the game get away from them in the opening minutes of the second half. Darrun Hilliard scored seven straight points coming out of the break to extend the Wildcats advantage to 11 points. I thought in the first half they executed a little better than us, played a little harder than us, said Villanova coach Jay Wright. I thought in the second half we were really good defensively. Jones hit a layup to end the Hilliard run, but Butler made only two more shotts from the floor over the next 7 1/2 minutes as Villanova extended its lead to as much as 16 in the second half.dddddddddddd. With Butlers poor shooting, the Wildcats could have run away for the game if not for their own struggles from the free throw line. They only shot 13-of-22 at the charity stripe in the second half and 61.5 percent for the game. Villanova only hit two 3-pointers in the second half, but the second one by Kris Jenkins with 13 1/2 minutes remaining ran the Wildcats lead to double digits where it would remain for the rest of the game. Butler never led, but the Bulldogs hung in the game by dominating the offensive glass with a 17-3 advantage. They converted those extra rebounds into 11 second-chance points. The Bulldogs opened the game shooting just 1-of-10 from the floor, but back- to-back triples from Barlow and Austin Etherington helped them tie the game at eight just over six minutes into the contest. Game Notes Villanova improved to 4-0 against Butler ... The Wildcats have only started 13-0 one other time in team history (1937-38) ... Hilliard missed Villanovas last game with a concussion ... The Bulldogs owned an 11-4 advantage in fastbreak points ... Both teams play next on Jan. 3 with Villanova traveling to Seton Hall and Butler visiting St. Johns. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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