Rafael Nadal marks injury return with easy win over Philipp Kohlschreiber

Rafael Nadal

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his match against Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber during a World Group Quarter final Davis Cup tennis match between Spain and Germany at the bullring today in Valencia, Spain.

The victory gave Nadal, the world No 1, the longest Davis Cup winning streak in combined singles and doubles rubbers, with 23 matches in a row.

Holders France took a 2-1 lead in their tie with Italy as Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut comfortably beat Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3 6-1. The clay-court season begins for Nadal from the ATP tournament at Monte Caro, which is just a week after Spain's Davis Cup tie against Germany.

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 victor Nadal was relentless and wrapped up the match.

"But in general it was a very important match and I am very happy". Nadal said after the match he is still regaining sharpness. "He also added, "'It could be one of my last times (for Spain in Davis Cup), I am aware of it as I am 36 years old and not a top ten player anymore".

More news: Kyle Lowry denies National Championship game affected his play vs. Cavs

The U.S. duo overcame some nervous moments but were able to win key points in the two tiebreakers to secure a victory to ensure the record 32-times winners advanced to the last four. "18 months ago, he was playing for the first time, and now he is our leader on and off the court", captain Noah said of Pouille.

Their semi-final opponents will be the United States following a doubles win by Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison against Belgian debutants Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen on Saturday for a 3-0 victory.

Cilic's Croat team-mate, Borna Cilic, couldn't keep up the victorious start and succumbed to Mikhail Kukushkin later on Friday, ensuring all three quarter-finals played earlier on Friday finished at one win apiece after the opening round of matches.

Isner needed three hours and 14 minutes to dispose of world number 319 Joris de Loore 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, while world No 14 Querrey beat 110th ranked Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 7-6, 7-5 in a two-hour long second rubber.

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