Spain join France, Croatia in semis after epic Ferrer win

Fognini, who spent over 11 hours on court in the victory over Japan in the first round, was furious after Chardy had brushed his shoulder against him during a changeover early in the third set. "Took us a while to really dig our teeth into the match and that second set tiebreaker was crucial for us".

Spain squandered five break-points in the eighth game of the final set and they paid the price for that miss when Marc Lopez, drafted in to replace an injured Pablo Carreno Busta, was broken three games later.

Team captain Jim Courier and John Isner (USA) and Sam Querrey (USA) and Jack Sock (USA) and Ryan Harrison (USA) and Steve Johnson (USA) celebrate winning the Davis Cup tie against Belgium at Belmont University.

It was also the 24th consecutive match Nadal has won in the Davis Cup.

The 36-year-old David Ferrer has never lost a singles Davis Cup match on clay prior to this weekend and his unbelievable run had to be finished on 16 wins as Alexander Zverev toppled him in Friday's rubber to score a very important win for Germany against the heavy favorites. "We ended up winning a pretty comfortable breaker and from that I felt like we were pretty much on top and we just had to finish it off".

Croatia will meet the United States in the semis in September.

The Davis Cup is usually shown on the BBC but with Great Britain not involved the option to broadcast the quarter-finals wasn't taken up.

And the world number one gave yet another demonstration of why he is known as the "King of Clay" to keep Spain in the hunt for a last-four spot, beating Zverev 6-1 6-4 6-4 at a packed bullring to square the tie at 2-2.

Tomorrow, Nadal will go toe-to-toe with Alexander Zverev, the world number four widely seen as heir apparent to the great Spaniard.

David Ferrer will play either Philipp Kohlschreiber or Struff in the final rubber.

Defending champions France forged a 2-1 lead against Italy after Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert earned a straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli.

The victor of the Valencia quarter-final will face either defending champions France or Italy for a place in the final.

  • Steve Townsend