A trip to Spain for the Davis Cup final ensured, the United States padded its margin in the semifinals against Belarus on Sunday with Andy Roddick beating Alexander Skrypko, 6-4, 6-2, as the Americans won the competition by a 4-0 sweep.
The last match, between Mardy Fish and Andrei Karatchenia of Belarus, was called off because of rain spun onto the coast by Hurricane Jeanne hundreds of miles away in Florida. Fish was up 3-0 in the first set when heavy rain sent more than 9,000 fans scurrying from the Family Circle Tennis Center.
Sunday's singles were reduced to best-of-three sets because the Americans took an insurmountable 3-0 lead on Saturday. The Americans lost only one set during the best-of-five series.
Spain gained a berth in the final with a 4-1 semifinal victory over France. Spain led 2-1 after Saturday, and it clinched the victory when Rafael Nadal beat Arnaud Clement, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, in Sunday's first match.
Spain will play for the title for the third time in five years.
Roddick said Spain will be favored on what probably will be clay courts for the Dec. 3-5 final.
"If you look at clay-court results, we're probably the underdog," the 2003 U.S. Open champion said. "But, you know, I'm definitely going to work hard and try to get in really good shape and be ready."
The United States has won the Davis Cup a record 31 times. But the Americans last made the final in 1997 and last won in 1995. Not since going from 1926 to '37 without a title has the United States gone this long without winning the Davis Cup.
Before this year, Belarus never had reached the Davis Cup semifinals.
Roddick said winning the Davis Cup has always been one of his goals.
"To know where we're nine sets from doing that, it feels pretty good," he said. "I'm sure we'll be very anxious and ready to go when we get there."
Skrypko, an 18-year-old freshman at Southern Methodist University, said the match with Roddick was the biggest of his career.
"He's a very good player, and I was very excited and I was a little bit nervous," Skrypko said.
U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe is looking forward to the trip to Spain.
"I'd love to have a Davis Cup final at home, don't get me wrong," he said. "But to me, when I saw the draw early on and I saw what the potential was, I was excited about going to Spain for the finals."
McEnroe was gratified to return to the final.
"I've said a number of times, you know, my goal was to get us into the mix," he said. Beating the Spanish, McEnroe said, "would be an amazing experience for us. It wouldn't be amazing as far as a huge upset, but it would be an amazing thrill for the team."
In the World Group playoffs, Austria defeated Britain, 3-2, Slovakia beat Germany, 3-2, and Romania topped Canada, 4-1. Australia, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Russia clinched on Saturday.