Spain join France, Croatia in semis after epic Ferrer win

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And the world number one gave yet another demonstration of why he is known as the "King of Clay" to keep Spain in the hunt for a last-four spot, beating Zverev 6-1 6-4 6-4 at a packed bullring to square the tie at 2-2.

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.

The victor of the Valencia quarter-final will face either defending champions France or Italy for a place in the final.

In a marathon encounter which stretched on for nearly five hours, Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff beat Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-5. The match that they both played was unbelievable.

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

"It's great to be back even if after an injury it's always hard". Germany then took a 2-1 lead when Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff won the doubles rubber against Feliciano and Marc Lopez.

Spain is trying to extend its winning streak at home to 27 ties.

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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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.

This was also seen in the third set and the German was again broken by Nadal whose shot selection was of the highest quality.

"I didn't even know if I really touched him on the shoulder. I am playing not just for me but also for Italy".

This is the teams' first Davis Cup meeting since 2004.

John Isner of the United States celebrates his victory over Joris de Loore of Belgium after the first match at the Davis Cup.

World number one 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 winners Spain level at 1-1 in the tie.

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

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