Record-setter Rafael Nadal roars back in Davis Cup win

Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber. (Reuters)

Spain’s Rafael Nadal returned to action with a 6-2 6-2 6-3 Davis Cup win over Germany’s Philip Kohlschreiber on Friday to set a record for the longest winning streak in the competition’s history.

World number one Nadal had not played since he retired from his Australian Open quarter-final 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.

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

Holders France were tied 1-1 with Italy in Genoa and 2005 winners Croatia were also deadlocked against visitors Kazakhstan after a day of thrilling action on indoor red clay in Varazdin.

The heavily-favored US team took a 2-0 lead against a depleted Belgium side on the indoor hard courts in Nashville to come within a point of their first Davis Cup semi-finals in six years.

Nadal was swiftly back in the swing of things in Valencia, dismantling Kohlschreiber after Alexander Zverev blew away David Ferrer 6-4 6-2 6-2 to put Germany in front.

The 31-year-old Nadal hardly put a foot wrong on his return, having produced 14 of his 30 winners in the opening set of a lopsided contest.

Kohlschreiber also went down tamely in the second before putting up more of a fight at the start of the third, but 16-time grand slam winner Nadal was relentless and wrapped up the match.

“It’s positive of course, winning in straight sets, it was a solid match. I feel comfortable back on the clay,” Nadal said on the Davis Cup website.

“It’s a great feeling to be back, coming back from injuries is always difficult, but it’s great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day. I’m very happy with the match.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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