Nadal Leads Spain To The Semis As Djokovic & Serbia Fall
Rafael Nadal led Spain to the semi-finals of the Davis Cup Finals on Friday evening, tallying a singles win and partnering Marcel Granollers to a doubles victory in the country’s 2-1 triumph against Argentina.
Guido Pella began the day by overcoming an 0-2 deficit in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Pablo Carreno Busta, rallying past the Spaniard 6-7(3), 7-6(4), 6-1. But Nadal responded with a resounding 6-1, 6-2 win against Argentine No. 1 Diego Schwartzman.
The World No. 1 returned to the court for the next match, too, battling alongside Granollers to defeat Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, sending Spain to the last four.
Spain, which last won the Davis Cup in 2011, will face Great Britain for a spot in the final. Former World No. 1 Andy Murray did not compete on Friday, but Great Britain defeated Germany 2-0.
Daniel Evans lost matches that went to a third set against both the Netherlands and Kazakhstan earlier in the week. But the 29-year-old held his nerve to defeat big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(6), 3-6, 7-6(2) to seal his side’s victory. In the first rubber of the tie, Kyle Edmund beat veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5 to give Great Britain the advantage.
“I felt like [I let] the team down the last two days,” Evans told DavisCup.com. “To come back and get it like that is amazing for them. They all supported me through everything over the past few days and I’m so happy we’re through.”
In the first tie of the day, Russia eliminated Serbia 2-1 in dramatic fashion. Russia reached its first Davis Cup semi-final since 2008 when Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev defeated Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(8), saving three match points in the deciding-set tie-break.
“We were really fighting until the end, that’s the only way to win a match like that,” Khachanov told DavisCup.com. “We maybe got lucky in some points at the end, so there is only one winner. We feel really bad for the Serbian team, but on the other side really happy that Russia qualified for the semis after a while.”
Rublev was on fire on Friday, dismissing Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-2, before Djokovic levelled the tie at 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph against Khachanov to set the stage for the doubles rubber. Russia will next face Canada, which advanced on Thursday, for a spot in the championship.