Friday, 20 April, 2018

Davis Cup: Nadal levels Spain with Germany in quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal GETTYRafael Nadal last played Davis Cup in 2016
Elias Hubbard | 09 April, 2018, 00:31

"Of course, it's a positive thing to win in straight sets", said Nadal, 31, who has not lost a singles match in the Davis Cup since his 2004 debut and in doubles since 2005.

In Nashville, John Isner and Sam Querrey lifted the Americans a 2-0 lead over last year's runners-up Belgium as the U.S. tries to reach the semis for the first time in six years.

The victory for the world No 1 in the Plaza de Toros bullring levelled the tie after world No 4 Alexander Zverev beat 33rd-ranked David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

Ferrer needed almost five hours to defeat Kohlschreiber 7-6 (1), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5 at the packed bull ring in Valencia, guaranteeing Spain's return to the semifinals for the first time since 2012.

Noah added: "It came down to a few points in the third set".

Rafael Nadal described his return to action as "a day to remember" after the 16-time grand slam victor pulled Spain level in their Davis Cup quarter-final against Germany.

With the Davis Cup format set to change, the tie between Spain and Germany was a reminder of how the competition at its very best can be among the finest spectacles in tennis.

The situation appeared even bleaker for the Americans in the second set when they fell 15-40 down while serving at 5-5, but this time Sock staved off two break points and the hosts won the ensuing tiebreaker and never looked back. "I am playing not just for me but also for Italy".

The Davis Cup is usually shown on the BBC but with Great Britain not involved the option to broadcast the quarter-finals wasn't taken up.

Croatia will host the United States in the other semi-final in September, after Cilic thrashed Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 in Varazdin.

The 36-year-old Ferrer held firm in the eighth game of the final set to save three break points and then pounced at 5-5 to secure the break before serving out for victory. Spain will now face France, which defeated Italy 3-1. Germany also won the doubles match on Saturday. The tie will now be decided by the fifth and final rubber, as David Ferrer takes on World No. 34 Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Lucas Pouille fired the French ahead with a laboured 6-3 6-2 4-6 3-6 6-1 win over Andreas Seppi before home favourite Fabio Fognini redressed the balance with a 6-7 (6) 6-2 6-2 6-3 defeat of Jeremy Chardy.

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