Record-setter Nadal roars back, Italy hold France

Record-setter Nadal roars back, Italy hold France

The world No. 1 had been inactive since January 23 when he retired with a leg injury from his Australian Open quarterfinal match against Marin Cilic, but showed little signs of rust upon dismantling Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-2 6-3 to even five-time Davis Cup champion Spain with Germany, 1-1.

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

In the opening match, world number 4 Alexander Zverev upset the local favourite David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. I feel comfortable back on the clay."It's always special to play at home at a bullring stadium, it's very unique". With AP Photos.Germans Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff have held off Spain's Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez to win 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 7-5 and take a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarterfinal. "Coming back from injuries is always hard".

Germany is bidding to become the first team to beat Spain at home since Brazil in 1999, with Spain winning its past 26 ties on home soil.

Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli were swiftly seen off, fading after holding their own early on and the former, ranked No.20, will have to beat No/11 Lucas Pouille to keep Italy in the competition.

Davis Cup action continues Saturday with the critical doubles rubbers taking place before spots in the semifinals will be decided come Sunday.

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

"I have complete faith in all my players, they're all formidable", said Spain captain Sergi Bruguera.

The victory was Cilic's 35th in Davis Cup, just one short of Ivan Ljubicic's Croatian record of 36.

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

In Nashville, John Isner and Sam Querrey lifted the United States into a 2-0 lead over last year's runners-up Belgium on Friday as the 32-time champions attempt to reach the semis for the first time in six years.

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