Rafael Nadal is set to return to action this weekend, for the first time since retiring against Marin Cilic in the Australian Open quarter-finals, as he leads Spain in the Davis Cup quarter-finals against Germany in Valencia.
The world No. 1, who has been recovering from a hip injury and has played only five matches in 2018, faces Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second singles rubber on Friday.
David Ferrer will open the tie against Germany’s world No. 4 and recent Miami runner-up Alexander Zverev at the Plaza de Torros de Valencia.
A win for Nadal would see him set a record winning streak of 23 combined singles and doubles rubbers, the longest undefeated run in Davis Cup history.
The 31-year-old is also unbeaten in all 17 singles rubbers contested on clay in the competition.
Nadal and Ferrer are joined by Feliciano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut and Marc Lopez, who has replaced Miami semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta (thumb injury).
Here’s a look at the stats surrounding this Davis Cup tie.
3 – Germany are looking to win three straight Davis Cup ties since 2006-2007.
3 – Davis Cup titles won by Germany, the last one coming in 1993.
4 – wins and 4 losses for Spain against Germany in clay court ties.
4 – Germany are in the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time in four years.
4 – This is Alexander Zverev’s fourth Davis Cup tie of his career. He is 3-4 in Davis Cup rubbers.
4 – Germany have lost their last four consecutive Davis Cup quarter-final ties.
5 – Davis Cup titles for Spain, all won from the year 2000 onwards.
6 – years since Spain last made the Davis Cup semi-finals. They’re bidding to reach that stage for the first time since 2012.
7 – Feliciano Lopez is just the seventh Spaniard to appear in 25 or more Davis Cup ties.
10 – wins and 6 losses for Germany against Spain in Davis Cup meetings.
11 – years since Germany last reached the Davis Cup semi-finals.
17 – this is the 17th meeting between Spain and Germany but first since 2014.
17 – wins and 0 losses for Nadal in singles rubbers on clay throughout his Davis Cup career.
18 – This is Kohlschreiber’s 18th Davis Cup tie. He is 16-10 win-loss in singles in the competition.
23 – Nadal is looking to set a record winning streak of 23 consecutive rubbers in Davis Cup. It would be the longest undefeated run in combined singles and doubles rubbers in the competition’s history. The Mallorcan has not lost a Davis Cup match since losing the doubles rubber in Spain’s 3-2 victory against Italy in the 2005 World Group play-offs.
23 – Nadal could take sole ownership of 3rd place on the list for the longest winning streaks in Davis Cup singles rubbers if he wins a singles clash this weekend, extending his run to 23 in a row. He has not lost a Davis Cup singles rubber since he fell on his competition debut to Jiri Novak in Spain’s 3-2 victory over Czech Republic in the 2004 World Group first round.
26 – Feliciano Lopez is appearing in his 26th Davis Cup tie while Ferrer is contesting his 20th.
26 – consecutive home ties won by Spain, the second-longest streak in Davis Cup history behind Italy’s 29. The Spaniard have not lost at home since falling to Brazil in the 1999 World Group first round in Lerida.
* All stats via ITF preview notes
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) April 5, 2018
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