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TENNIS

Germany claims Davis Cup last eight spot

Germany booked their Davis Cup quarter-final berth on Saturday as Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber paired up to give the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead over Spain.

Germany claims Davis Cup last eight spot
Photo: DPA

The German duo needed nearly three-and-a-half hours to seal a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (9/11), 7-6 (9/7), 6-3 win over Spain's Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero in the World Group clash in Frankfurt.

Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer had given the hosts a 2-0 overnight lead.

The Germans will now face France away in the last eight on April 4-6 after the French took a 3-0 lead over Australia in their tie on Saturday in Mouilleron-le-Captif.

"We managed to beat a top double pairing, you can't get better than that really," said 35-year-old Haas.

"There were so many emotions, that was unbelievable."

In a tight doubles match, the first three sets all went to tie-breakers with the Spanish pair battling to keep their team in the tie.

The guests were without world number one Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, ranked fifth in the world.

Kohlschreiber stepped in for Daniel Brands in a tactical switch and the move paid off allowing Germany to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2011.

In Friday's singles, Kohlschreiber got the hosts off to a good start in Frankfurt with a comfortable 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win over Roberto Bautista Agut.

Mayer then dug deep to win a five-set thriller against Feliciano Lopez, needing nearly four hours, to win 7-6(7/6), 7-6(7/4), 1-6, 5-7, 6-3 to put Germany 2-0 up.

Left-hander Lopez fired down 29 aces, but Mayer held his nerve and pushed through the pain barrier.

He later revealed he had needed medication for a painful shoulder just during the match.

Germany will now be hoping to avoid a repeat of their 2011 Davis Cup quarter-final when they lost 4-1 to France in Stuttgart.

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TENNIS

Nadal beats Zverev to set Spain up for Davis Cup decider with Germany

Rafael Nadal kept Spain's Davis Cup hopes alive by beating Alexander Zverez on Sunday in the fourth rubber of their quarter-final against Germany.

Nadal beats Zverev to set Spain up for Davis Cup decider with Germany
Germany's Alexander Zverev walks on the pitch during the Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match against Spain's Rafa Nadal at the bullring of Valencia, on Sunday. JOSE JORDAN / AFP
Nadal's 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win in Valencia draws the tie level at 2-2, with Spanish world number 33 David Ferrer up against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fifth and decisive match.
 
Two breaks in each set were enough for Nadal to seal an impressively comfortable victory over Zverev in what was only the 31-year-old's second outing since returning from a hip injury.
 
Nadal was forced to retire at the Australian Open in January but, back on his favoured clay, the 16-time grand slam champion showed little sign of rust against Zverev, whom he has now beaten four times out of four.
 
It was also the 24th consecutive match Nadal has won in Davis Cup.
 
He beat Kohlschreiber in straight sets on Friday after Zverev had overcome Ferrer. Germany then took a 2-1 lead when Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff won the doubles rubber against Spain's Feliciano and Marc Lopez.