Davis Cup: Rafael Nadal helps Spain reach quarters, USA tie ends after 4am

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal helped Spain beat defending champions Croatia in front of a jubilant home crowd
2019 Davis Cup finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Rafael Nadal's Spain eased into the Davis Cup quarter-finals, but the event organisers faced more questions over scheduling as Wednesday's action stretched beyond 4am.

Defending champions Croatia, who are without Marin Cilic and Borna Coric, saw doubles specialist Nikola Mektic lose 6-1 6-3 to Roberto Bautista Agut.

Nadal beat Borna Gojo 6-4 6-3 to secure Spain's last-eight slot in Madrid.

The USA then beat Italy in a match ending at 4:04am.

However, Sam Querrey and Jack Sock's success over Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the deciding doubles rubber could not prevent both countries being eliminated.

It was the second-latest finish in top-level tennis history, beaten only by Lleyton Hewitt's win over Marcos Baghdatis at the 2008 Australian Open which ended at 4:33am.

"I don't even know where we are, what time it is, what day it is," US team captain Mardy Fish said. "That was pretty special from these guys, for sure."

Alex de Minaur
Alex de Minaur, 20, is ranked 18th in the world

Earlier in the day Great Britain won a nine-hour tie against the Netherlands 2-1 to put themselves into a good position to reach the quarter-finals.

Australia will meet Canada in the last eight after Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur beat Belgium's Steve Darcis and David Goffin in straight sets in their respective singles rubbers.

Captain Hewitt said it was "an easy decision" to retire his pairing of John Peers and Jordan Thompson from the subsequent doubles match, however it followed controversy after Canada had potentially strengthened the United States' chances of making the last eight by doing the same on Tuesday.

Britain's Andy Murray had been among critics of the Canadians' decision to forfeit, saying: "I don't think that's good.

"So where Canada may have felt that that was a dead rubber in theory for them because they were already through, that could have implications to all of the teams potentially that might finish in second place."

Meanwhile, Serbia, who won the Davis Cup in 2010, put themselves in pole position in Group A with a 3-0 victory over Japan.

Filip Krajinovic defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-2 6-4, Novak Djokovic thrashed Yoshihito Nishioka 6-1 6-2, and Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki clinched a tight doubles match against Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama, winning 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4).

Germany also triumphed 3-0 as they defeated Argentina. Philipp Kohlschreiber battled back from a set down to defeat Guido Pella 1-6 6-3 6-4 and Jan-Lennard Struff was too good for Diego Schwartzman with a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) success.

In the doubles, the German pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies overcame Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer after the longest tie-break in Davis Cup history as they won 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (20-18).

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