Spain rely on Rafael Nadal to keep Davis Cup hopes alive


Spain will depend on the returning Rafael Nadal to maintain their Davis Cup hopes alive after dropping the doubles battle to Germany.

Nadal made a triumphant return in his first match since retiring on the Australian Open quarterfinal in January, as he coasted previous Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Nevertheless after the doubles pairing of Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez battled from two units all the way down to drive a deciding fifth set, they have been edged by the decrease double-ranked pairing of Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz, 6-Three, 6-Four, Three-6, 6-7(Four) 7-5.

Nadal now should face World No. Four Alexander Zverev within the reverse singles, to maintain the hosts’ hopes alive.

Reigning Davis Cup champions France took management towards Italy as established doubles duo of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beat Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.

Fognini will now face Lucas Pouille on Sunday to maintain Italy within the hunt for a spot within the semifinals.

Regardless of a dominant begin by Marin Cilic Croatia’s Davis Cup hopes hit a snag when Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin turned the tables on ATP Subsequent Gen’s Borna Coric earlier than Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic gave the house crowd one thing to cheer placing the hosts within the lead.

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