Rafael Nadal (pictured) rattled off a three set win over Serbia's Novak Djokovic on Sunday to put Spain into the Davis Cup quarter-finals.
AFP - Rafael Nadal rattled off a three set win over Serbia's Novak Djokovic to put Spain into the Davis Cup quarter-finals here Sunday.
The defending champions, leading 2-1 overnight, secured their place in the last eight with world number one Nadal's 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 success at the Parque Tematico arena.
Nadal had put the hosts on the verge of victory with a brutally one-sided 6-1, 6-0, 6-2 win over Janko Tipsarevic on Saturday.
That victory gave Spain, champions in 2000 and 2004, a 2-0 lead over Serbia in the World Group first round tie after David Ferrer had pulled off a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) win over world number three Novak Djokovic.
Serbia had kept the tie alive when Viktor Troicki, replacing Djokovic, teamed with doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic to beat Tommy Robredo and Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 7-6 (9/7).
But Nadal then scored the decisive win to hand Spain a July quarter-final with either Germany or Austria. The Germans were 2-1 ahead in their clash in Garmisch-Partenkirchen going into the final day.
"The clay is Spain's surface," Djokovic conceded after four-time French Open champion Nadal proved once again he is a master on the red dust.
"This was an important win for us," Nadal said, while skipper Albert Costa observed that "this could really have been the final."
Spain and Serbia had to wait 24 hours to get the tie underway as play was delayed by a day after high winds had damaged the purpose-built arena in Benidorm on Friday.
Spain, which had not lost a Davis Cup tie at home or on clay since 1999, thwarted for another year at least Serbia's bid to reach the World Group quarterfinals for the first time.
Date created : 2009-03-08