Isner blow is boost for Spain

  • Last Updated: January 3 2013, 14:24 GMT

John Isner's withdrawal with a knee injury sent Spain through to the final of the Hopman Cup in Perth where they will face either Serbia or Australia.

John Isner: Injury blow is good news for Spain

Isner's late pull-out cost the United States any chance of reaching the Saturday final, as opponent Fernando Verdasco was awarded a 6-0 6-0 walkover success.

Speaking on court, Isner, hampered all week by what he had earlier described as "a bit of tendonitis", said: "I'm very, very sorry to all the fans here. I really wanted to play here against Fernando, so I apologise for that and I hope you guys understand."

Hosts Australia gave themselves hope of facing Spain in the final after 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty scored a magnificent 6-0 6-3 win over Italy's former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

Barty, the world number 175, needed just 55 minutes to polish off her opponent and give Australia an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie after Bernard Tomic's earlier 6-3 7-5 win over Andreas Seppi.

However, Serbia remain favourites to reach the final and will do so if they make it three wins out of three against already-eliminated Germany on Friday. Failure to do so will send Australia through.

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