Sports

Record-setter Nadal roars back, Italy hold France

Record-setter Nadal roars back, Italy hold France

World number one, Rafael Nadal, continued his impressive return from injury by dispatching fourth-ranked Alexander Zverev of Germany in straight sets 6-1 6-4 6-4 to keep Spain's hopes of staying in the competition alive.

Germany team captain Michael Kohlmann said: "This is what the Davis Cup is all about".

Elsewhere this weekend, world number 11 Lucas Pouille, who helped clinch France's first title in 17 years last year, will lead the holders against Italy in Genoa.

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.

"From the beginning till the end I played on a rather high level. constant pressure, superior, aggressive", former US Open champion Cilic said. "Coming back from injuries is always hard, but it's great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day".

Spain and Germany's tie was the only to go the distance, largely due to the surprising doubles win for Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz over Feliciano Lopez and Mark Lopez.

He is on a 22-match winning streak in singles with his only loss coming on debut for five-time champions Spain back in 2004.

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This was also seen in the third set and the German was again broken by Nadal whose shot selection was of the highest quality.

The French doubles team - boasting the ATP's ninth-ranked doubles player Nicolas Mahut alongside Pierre Hugues Herbert - raced to victory in straight sets, defeating Italy 6-4 6-3 6-1.

April 7, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; John Isner (USA) and Sam Querrey (USA) and Jack Sock (USA) and Ryan Harrison (USA) and Steve Johnson (USA) celebrate winning the Davis Cup tie against Belgium at Belmont University. "I am playing not just for me but also for Italy".

Germany pounced on their chance and served out to win the marathon in four hours and 23 minutes.

World No. 3 Marin Cilic, meanwhile, put the finishing touches to Croatia's 3-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Sock and Harrison came from behind to beat Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 after the U.S. won both of their singles matches on Friday.


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