undergroundnewsroom.com
undergroundnewsroom.com April 26, 2018


Record-setter Nadal roars back, Italy hold France

09 April 2018, 12:32 | Nina Mathis

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

GettyImages-925534016

It was the 23rd straight win for Nadal since 2005, setting the Davis Cup record combining singles and doubles.

The heavily-favored US team took a 2-0 lead against a depleted Belgium side on the indoor hard courts in Nashville, Tenn., to come within a point of its first Davis Cup semifinals in six years.

Top-ranked Nadal cruised to a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win over fourth-ranked Alexander Zverev in the first match Sunday to keep Spain alive after entering the day trailing 2-1.

Feliciano López and Marc López fought gallantly after losing the first two sets, drawing level in a marathon match of over four-and-a-half hours, but Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff eventually sealed a shock 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 victory. The French came out on top in a dramatic match earlier in the day when Lucas Pouille defeated Andreas Seppi in five sets.

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.

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Spain beat Germany to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals after Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer won both singles matches on Sunday. "We ended up winning a pretty comfortable breaker and from that I felt like we were pretty much on top and we just had to finish it off".

John Isner, fresh from his triumph in Miami, will line up for the United States at home to Belgium while Croatia, with Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic in their ranks, face Kazakhstan 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. France will host the winners of the tie between Spain and Germany, from 14-16 September, for a place in the Davis Cup final.

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. The tie will now be decided by the fifth and final rubber, as David Ferrer takes on World No. 34 Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic overcame Kazakhstan's Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7 (2) 6-4 6-4 6-2 to hand Croatia a 2-1 lead.



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