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Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Nadal returns, extends Davis Cup win streak

Nadal returns, extends Davis Cup win streak

Ferrer needed almost five hours to defeat Kohlschreiber 7-6 (1), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5 at the packed bull ring in Valencia, guaranteeing Spain's return to the semifinals for the first time since 2012. It's a great feeling and very unique to play here in front of my people. But Nadal kept up his end of the bargain on Sunday and the 36-year-old Ferrer showed all of his trademark never-say-die qualities to keep Spain's hopes of a sixth Davis Cup title alive.

Victory meant Nadal set the record for the longest Davis Cup winning streak in combined singles and doubles matches with 23 in a row.

Nadal had easily defeated Kohlschreiber on Friday in what was his first match since the Australian Open in January because of a right hip injury.

Lucas Pouille's five-set win over Andreas Seppi in Genoa was followed by Fabio Fognini coming from behind to beat Jeremy Chardy in four.

"I am very proud of the team, and I am really relieved because the last match was so close", France Captain, Yannick Noah, told the competition's official website.

Feliciano López and Marc López fought gallantly after losing the first two sets, drawing level in a marathon match of over four-and-a-half hours, but Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff eventually sealed a shock 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 victory.

"I don't know if there will be one more year, I feel well, I am going week-by-week".

"I am ready to play three days, for sure", said Fognini, who has played for Italy every year since 2008. Nadal is back with five-time champion Spain after a gap of two long years; the last time he played Davis Cup was in September 2016.

But then world number 92 Mikhail Kukushkin demonstrated the spirit and determination of this Kazhak team as he brought the scores level with victory over Borna Ćorić, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-2.

In Nashville, John Isner and Sam Querrey lifted the Americans a 2-0 lead over last year's runners-up Belgium as the United States tries to reach the semis for the first time in six years.

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

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