Spain need Nadal to save them in Davis Cup

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

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. "There were times when I lost a bit of control because the match was tough, I had not competed for a long time and to maintain the level of the first set was complicated for me".

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.

Rafael Nadal will return to action in the Davis Cup. "Coming back from injuries is always hard, but it's great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day".

Spain squandered five break-points in the eighth game of the final set and they paid the price for that miss when Marc Lopez, drafted in to replace an injured Pablo Carreno Busta, was broken three games later.

"It came down to a few points in the third set".

Elsewhere, defending champions France booked a home semi-final against Spain as Lucas Pouille claimed a hard-fought win over Fabio Fognini in Genoa to give the visitors a 3-1 victory in the tie.




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.

Ferrer beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-5 in the deciding rubber in Valencia.

Croatia will take on the United States in the other semi-final, with both ties to be played on 14-16 September. Germany also won the doubles match on Saturday.

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.

German Zverev, also a top five player, earned a comfortable victory over Valencia-native Davis Ferrer in the opening rubber.

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

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