Germany edge in front ahead of Nadal-Zverev clash in Valencia

Rafael Nadal
GETTYRafael Nadal last played Davis Cup in 2016
Author

09 April, 2018

A prowling Nadal came up with 21 winners and world number four Zverev racked up 57 unforced errors as the 16-time grand slam champion extended his winning run to a Davis Cup-record 24 matches.

"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.

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.

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.

Nadal and the local crowd erupted in celebration when the 33rd-ranked Ferrer successfully served for the match after breaking Kohlschreiber's serve in the previous game.

ITALY 1, FRANCE 3 Venue: Valletta Cambiaso ASD, Genoa, ITA (clay - outdoor) Lucas Pouille came from a set down to send France into the semi-finals, defeating Fabio Fognini 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 6-3.

On Sunday world number four Alexander Zverev could secure Germany's spot in the semi-finals if he is able to snap Nadal's record 23-match winning streak in the men's team competition.

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The victor of the Valencia quarter-final will face either defending champions France or Italy for a place in the final.

"18 months ago, he was playing for the first time, and now he is our leader on and off the court", captain Noah said of Pouille.

"I have always had great experiences in the Davis Cup and this is another opportunity".

World No. 1 Nadal had not played since he retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal against Marin Cilic in January with a leg injury, but made light work of Kohlschreiber to draw five-time victor Spain level at 1-1 in the tie.

Miami Open champion John Isner smashed 43 aces to overcome a surprisingly stiff challenge from world No. 319 Joris de Loore to win the United States' first point with a 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 victory in a match that lasted over three hours.

Last year's losing finalists Belgium struggled without their top-ranked players David Goffin and Steve Darcis, leaving the Americans with a straightforward task to reach the semis for the first time since 2012.


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