Published: Mon, April 09, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

USA ease past Belgium into Davis Cup semi-finals

USA ease past Belgium into Davis Cup semi-finals

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.

Croatia also cruised into an initial lead against Kazakhstan after world No. 3 Marin Cilic demolished 21-year-old Dmitry Popko 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, but Mikhail Kukushkin brought the Kazakhs level with a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 win over Borna Coric.

Ferrer needed almost five hours to defeat Kohlschreiber 7-6 (1), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5 at the packed bull ring in Valencia, guaranteeing Spain's return to the semifinals for the first time since 2012.

Holders France will host Spain in the final four after beating Italy.

World number one Rafael Nadal had not played since he retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal in January but made light work of Germany's Philip Kohlschreiber.

Nadal, in his first Davis Cup tie since 2016, had 30 winners against only eight by Kohlschreiber, but the Spaniard finished with eight double faults.

Nadal said: "It was never going to be easy so I'm very happy to get an important victory for me and the team".

Nadal contsantly pressured the Zverev serve, breaking on six occasions during the match, and proved he'll once again be the man to beat at the multitude of ATP events building up to the French Open.

John Isner of the United States celebrates his victory over Joris de Loore of Belgium after the first match at the Davis Cup.

"To come back after an injury is always hard, and in front of my crowd, it was a little bit less". "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".

World No. 11 Pouille, who had beaten Andreas Seppi in five sets Friday, came from behind to see off Fognini 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 and send Yannick Noah's France into the semis for the third time in four years.

The US was the only team to progress without losing a rubber, after Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison's doubles win over Belgian debutants Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen Saturday.

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