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Tennis: Russia Beats US in Davis Cup Semi-Final

Russia has defeated the United States in the semi-final round of the Davis Cup World tennis tournament before cheering crowds in Moscow.

The American team had its enthusiastic contingent of supporters inside Moscow's Olympic Stadium throughout the three days of play.

The United States fielded players such as Andy Roddick, a finalist in the recent U.S. Open tournament in New York.

But the Russian team dominated throughout most of the Davis Cup semi-finals, and Roddick was defeated Sunday by Dmitry Tursunov in the longest final set in World Group singles history, which ended with a 32-game final set result of 17-15.

On Friday, Russians Marat Safin and Mikhail Yuzhny each won singles matches, giving Russia a 2-0 lead in the best of 5 series.

The Americans easily won the only doubles match on Saturday, as twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan demonstrated the reason they are now ranked the top doubles team in the world.

So the hope of the United States rested on the outcome of Sunday's singles game between Roddick and Tursunov.

The strength of the Russians had many saying the time has finally come for the country's male players to match the top level play of Russia's leading female players.

Before Sunday's match, the 23-year-old Tursunov said he thinks this is because many opportunities presented themselves after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"Before the Soviet Union split up, very few players have been allowed to travel and play at big events against the best players in the world," said Dmitry Tursunov. "So, it is very hard to become good, if you never get to face the top players in the world."

Tursunov is a case in point. He has been training in California for the past 10 years, and many Russian men now routinely play at the international level.

The Russian team will have its chance to show its stuff again when it hosts Argentina in early December in the Davis Cup finals in Moscow.