Germany on verge of knocking out Spain from Davis Cup

Ruben Holloway
April 8, 2018

"I feel comfortable back on the clay", Nadal said after the match at the Plaza de Toros bullring in Valencia.

The world No. 1 had been inactive since January 23 when he retired with a leg injury from his Australian Open quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic, but showed little signs of rust upon dismantling Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-2 6-3 to even five-time Davis Cup champion Spain with Germany, 1-1.

Nadal, 31, who marked his comeback on Friday after more than two months on the sidelines with a hip injury by seeing off Philipp Kohlscreiber in his opening singles match, now has to repeat his magic against Zverev, 11 years his junior.

Holders France were tied 1-1 with Italy in Genoa and 2005 winners Croatia were also deadlocked against visitors Kazakhstan after a day of thrilling action on indoor red clay in Varazdin.

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"It's a memorable day, in front of my own crowd".

After Alexander Zverev beat David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to put Germany in front, Nadal hardly put a foot wrong on his return, producing 14... I'm very happy with the match.

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.

"I have complete faith in all my players, they're all formidable", said Spain captain Sergi Bruguera. Spain hasn't lost a tie as host since the first round in 1999 against Brazil.

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Croatia are also one win away from the last four after Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic defeated the Kazakh pair of Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-4 6-2. "It is my first clay-court match in a very long time so it was great to find my rhythm so quickly".

The USA went 2-0 up against Belgium after Miami Open victor John Isner beat Joris De Loore 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, before Sam Querrey triumphed against Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 7-6, 7-5.

This is the teams' first Davis Cup meeting since 2004.

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