Nadal crushes Zverev as Spain reach Davis Cup semis

Philipp Kohlschreiber reveals tactics to face Rafael Nadal
Nadal returns, extends Davis Cup win streak
Author

09 April, 2018

Germany raced into a two-set lead but with world number one Rafael Nadal roaring on his team mates, Spain fought back to force a fifth set at a packed Plaza de Toros arena. "I feel comfortable back on the clay", Nadal said. France will host the winners of the tie between Spain and Germany, from 14-16 September, for a place in the Davis Cup final.

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.

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

Victory meant Nadal set the record for the longest Davis Cup winning streak in combined singles and doubles rubbers with 23 matches in a row.

"It's a great feeling to be back, coming back from injuries is always hard, but it's great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day".

France, the 10-time winners, have two top 30 players in Lucas Pouille, ranked at 11, and Adrian Mannarino, the world 25 although it was world number 80 Jeremy Chardy and not Mannarino who was given the nod to face Fabio Fognini.

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Kohlschreiber also went down tamely in the second set, before putting up more of a fight at the start of the third, but 16-time Grand Slam victor Nadal was relentless and wrapped up the match. "I am playing not just for me but also for Italy".

But Nadal kept up his end of the bargain on Sunday and the 36-year-old Ferrer showed all of his trademark never-say-die qualities to keep Spain's hopes of a sixth Davis Cup title alive.

On Saturday, France's Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert will face Fognini and Simone Bolelli in the doubles.

The splits in opening singles action continued between Croatia and Kazakhstan as Marin Cilic won easily before Mikhail Kukushkin tied it up for the Kazakhs with a four-set upset of Borna Coric.

The USA were the first side to book their spot in the last-four of the competition as John Isner and Sam Querrey secured routine singles wins over Belgium's Joris De Loore and Ruben Bemelmans, before Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock completed the rout against last year's beaten finalists in the doubles.


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