Ferrer sends Spain into Davis Cup semi-finals

Rafael Nadal

Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz pulled off a shock 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4) 7-5 win over Spain's Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez to give Germany a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

Nadal is on a record run of 23 consecutive wins in the Davis Cup, having not lost since 2005, while Spain have won 26 straight home ties, with their last defeat on home soil coming against Brazil in 1999.

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...

France's place in the next round was clinched by Lucas Pouille, whose 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win against Fabio Fognini earned his country a 3-1 win against Italy.

Nadal succeeded in forcing a fifth rubber between David Ferrer and German Philipp Kohlschreiber. "We go progressing, the Davis Cup motivates us but we also know that after that, it comes a month and a half without stopping that is very important to him", Moya added. Nadal said after the match he is still regaining sharpness.

"I played more aggressively as the match went on".

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Sock and Harrison failed to break serve until the fourth set yet managed to see off doubles specialists Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7 7-6 (1) 7-6 (3) 6-4 to wrap up the tie in the fewest possible matches for the Americans. "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".

Ferrer and Kohlschreiber's match was locked at one set each at the Plaza de Toros in Valencia on Sunday.

The victory helped to set a record for the longest winning streak in the competition's history.

Croatia also took the lead against Kazakhstan as Marin Cilic brushed aside Dmitry Popko 6-2 6-1 6-2.

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.

The top-ranked Nadal hadn't played since the Australian Open quarterfinals because of a right hip injury, and was never challenged by the 34th-ranked Kohlschreiber at the bullring staging the clay-court tie in Valencia.

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