Germany open up 2-1 lead over Spain in Davis Cup tie
World No 1 Rafael Nadal will have to defeat young German star Alexander Zverev on Sunday to keep Spain in the Davis Cup
By Sky Sports Tennis
Last Updated: 08/04/18 1:14pm
Germany's Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff stunned Spain's Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez to open up a 2-1 lead in their Davis Cup quarter-final.
Puetz and Struff won an epic doubles encounter lasting four and a half hours on the clay court at the Plaza de Toros bullring in Valencia, 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-5.
"That was a tough match," said Puetz. "We were always trying to motivate each other and play more calmly in the fifth set."
German team captain Michael Kohlmann added: "This is what the Davis Cup is all about. It was 50/50 in the end. We got a bit lucky but it feels great."
The result means world No 1 Rafael Nadal will have to defeat fourth-ranked Alexander Zverev in the first of Sunday's reverse singles to keep five-time champions Spain in the tie.
Nadal is on a record run of 23 consecutive wins in the Davis Cup, having not lost since 2005, while Spain have won 26 straight home ties, with their last defeat on home soil coming against Brazil in 1999.
In Genoa, Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert put defending champions France 2-1 up against Italy with a comfortable 6-4 6-3 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli.
Croatia are also one win away from the last four after Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic defeated the Kazakh pair of Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-4 6-2.
In Nashville, Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock helped the United States take an unassailable 3-0 lead and become the first team to seal their place in the semi-finals later on when defeated Belgium's Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in four sets 5-7 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in front of a crowd of 5,000 at the Curb Event Center.
We're back for more tennis on Monday, April 16 for the start of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters with coverage underway from 9.30am on Sky Sports Arena.
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