Valencia: Rafael Nadal kept Spain’s Davis Cup hopes alive by beating Alexander Zverev today in the fourth rubber of their quarter-final against Germany.
Nadal’s 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 win in Valencia drew the tie level at 2-2, with world number 33 Spanish player David Ferrer up against Germanys Philipp Kohlschreiber in the fifth and decisive rubber.
The Spanish tennis player dominated from the start against the 20-year-old German, leaving the tie even at 2-2 ahead of the decisive match between 33rd-ranked David Ferrer and 34th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber later Sunday at the bullring in Valencia.
Two breaks in each set were enough for Nadal to seal an impressively comfortable victory over Zverev in what was only the second outing for the 31-year-old since his return from a hip injury.
Nadal said after the match he is still regaining sharpness. “The first set was fantastic,” he said. “There were times when I lost a bit of control because the match was tough, I had not competed for a long time and to maintain the level of the first set was complicated for me.
“But in general it was a very important match and I am very happy.”
Zverev played better in the second and the third sets and was hitting powerful serves, even as fast as 218 km/h, but Nadal was relentless and showed exactly why he has lost just two best-of-five-sets matches on clay of the 106 he has played.
Nadal was forced to retire at the Australian Open in January but, back on his favoured clay, the 16-time Grand Slam champion showed little sign of rust against Zverev, whom he has now beaten four times out of four.