Nadal routs Zverev, Ferrer outlasts Kohlschreiber to lead Spain past Germany

Nadal routs Zverev, Ferrer outlasts Kohlschreiber to lead Spain past Germany

Nadal routs Zverev, Ferrer outlasts Kohlschreiber to lead Spain past Germany

Germany's Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff stunned Spain's Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez to open up a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarter-final.

Rafael Nadal said he felt "comfortable back on the clay" after recording a routine straight-sets victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Davis Cup on his return from a lengthy injury lay-off.

The 31-year-old Nadal hardly put a foot wrong on his return, having produced 14 of his 30 winners in the opening set of a lop-sided contest.

But 16-times Grand Slam victor Nadal kept his foot on the gas and wrapped up the match in two hours and 33 minutes.

Zverev showed a bit of fight in the final game of the opening set, lining up two break point chances of his own, but Nadal held firm and wrapped it up at the third time of asking after just 34 minutes. "He also added, "'It could be one of my last times (for Spain in Davis Cup), I am aware of it as I am 36 years old and not a top ten player anymore". "It was a great match for me in an unbelievable atmosphere".

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Kohlschreiber also went down tamely in the second 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. Zverev had given Germany a 1-0 lead by defeating Ferrer in three sets. Kohlschreiber twice fought back from a set down, but former French Open runner-up Ferrer broke in the 11th game of the decider and held his nerve on serve after nearly five hours on court.

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

"It's a great feeling to be back".

"From the beginning till the end I played on a rather high level; constant pressure, superior, aggressive", said Cilic afterwards.

The United States could become the first team to seal their place in the semis later on Saturday if Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison beat Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in Nashville. Last year's losing finalist Belgium struggled without its top-ranked players David Goffin and Steve Darcis, leaving the Americans with a straightforward task to reach the semis for the first time since 2012.

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