Record-setter Nadal roars back, Italy hold France

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.

Nadal and the local crowd erupted in celebration when the 33rd-ranked Ferrer successfully served for the match after breaking Kohlschreiber's serve in the previous game.

World number one Rafael Nadal had not played since he retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal in January but made light work of Germany's Philip Kohlschreiber. "It was never going to be easy so I'm very happy to get an important victory for me and the team", reflected Nadal. France has now won six consecutive Davis Cup ties, two shy of their all-time record win streak from 2000-2002.

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

Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli were swiftly seen off, fading after holding their own early on and the former - ranked 20th - will have to beat 11th-ranked Lucas Pouille to keep Italy in the competition.

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Croatia's Cilic breezed past Dmitry Popko 6-2 6-1 6-2 to give the hosts the lead against Kazakhstan but the visitors hit back after Mikhail Kukushkin overpowered Borna Coric 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 6-2.

Sam Querrey then claimed a straight sets 6-1, 7-6, 7-5 success against Reuben Bemelmans.

"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", former US Open champion Cilic said.

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.

Their shock win handed the world No. 4 the chance to book Germany's spot in the semi-finals if he could defeat Nadal, however, he was second best throughout and it will all come down to the final rubber.


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