Spain defeat Germany while France, Croatia also reach Davis Cup semis

The 31-year-old Nadal leads Spain into a home quarter-final against Germany at Valencia's iconic Plaza de Toros bullring, boasting a remarkable record in the tournament.

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.

If world number 11 Lucas Pouille beats Fognini in the singles, then France will earn a semi-final spot for the third time in four years.

In the opening match, world number 4 Alexander Zverev upset the local favourite David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

"From the beginning till the end I played on a rather high level. constant pressure, superior, aggressive", former US Open champion Cilic said.

It was the 23rd straight win for Nadal since 2005, setting the Davis Cup record combining singles and doubles. It's a great feeling and very unique to play here in front of my people.

And he is hoping to take his second point for Spain this week as they battle back from 2-1 down against Germany.

Italian No 1 Fabio Fognini then won a bad-tempered 3hr 30min rubber against world No 80 Jeremy Chardy 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to make the tie 1-1.

"I didn't even know if I really touched him on the shoulder".

Germany pounced on their chance and served out to win the marathon in four hours and 23 minutes.

"I am ready to play three days, for sure", said Fognini, who has played for Italy every year since 2008. "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".

Croatia also made it into the last four as Australian Open runner-up Marin Cilic crushed Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 6-1 6-1 in Varazdin to seal their tie 3-1.

The heavily-favored USA 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.

Sock and Harrison came from behind to beat Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 after the United States won both of their singles matches on Friday.

Belgium, who are playing without world No 10 David Goffin, do not have a player ranked in the top 100 in their line-up.

  • Stacy Allen