France, Croatia reach Davis Cup semis, Nadal keeps Spain alive

Philipp Kohlschreiber reveals tactics to face Rafael Nadal

Now world No.1 Nadal must beat world No.4 Alexander Zverev if Spain is to avoid defeat in the last eight.

Holder France was tied 1-1 with Italy in Genoa, and 2005 victor Croatia was also deadlocked against visitor Kazakhstan after a day of thrilling action on indoor red clay in Varazdin.

Sock and Harrison failed to break serve until the fourth set yet managed to see off doubles specialists Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7 7-6 (1) 7-6 (3) 6-4 to wrap up the tie in the fewest possible matches for the Americans. The match that they both played was unbelievable.

"It's a great feeling to be back, coming back from injuries is always hard, but it's great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day".

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Raikkonen had looked to be faster than Vettel until qualifying but the four-time champion pulled it out when it mattered. Despite making a small improvement, Vettel found 0.063s more on his own attempt to sneak ahead in the closing seconds.

On Saturday, Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez will face Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff in the doubles, paving the way for a potential tie-deciding clash between Nadal and 20-year-old Zverev on Sunday.

Spain is trying to extend its winning streak at home to 27 ties.

Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic overcame Kazakhstan's Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7 (2) 6-4 6-4 6-2 to hand Croatia a 2-1 lead.

Italian No 1 Fabio Fognini then won a bad-tempered 3hr 30min rubber against world No 80 Jeremy Chardy 6-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to make the tie 1-1. "I had a tough first set but I kept trying and was playing better and better and it was a great effort to come back and win this one", said Pouille.

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Spain joined the USA, France and Croatia in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup after a dramatic comeback on the final day in Valencia. Germany also won the doubles match on Saturday.

"I am ready to play three days, for sure", said Fognini, who has played for Italy every year since 2008.

World number one Nadal had not played since he retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal 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. This is very special for David who we all love.

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

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