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Davis Cup Quarter Final versus Germany
Valencia 6-8 April 2018
It's been way too long since we've seen Rafa on court - more than 10 weeks. It's been even longer since we've seen him sporting his team colours in a Davis Cup tie in Spain - the last time he played at home was in 2013. It was great, therefore, to see him back on clay and looking in good form.
His first match was against Philipp Kohlschreiber who has only beaten him once in 15 attempts - and that was on grass shortly after Rafa's 6th Roland Garros win.
It went well - with Rafa winning easily, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
On day two we got to experience one of the true delights of Davis Cup when Rafa pulled out all the stops in an attempt to cheer Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez to victory in the doubles.
Despite that support, the Spanish pair lost the doubles so it was imperative for both Rafa and Ferrer to win their singles matches on the final day for the team to make it through to the semi finals. Much was made of the form of Alexander Zverev coming into this match. However, he's not managed to beat Rafa yet and their only meeting on clay (at last year's Monte Carlo tournament) was little more than a rout.
It might not have been a rout this time but a winning score of 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 is more than respectable. Especially when you consider that most pundits were expecting a hard fought 5-setter.
After what one assumes was a quick shower Rafa was back courtside to support David Ferrer in the final, decisive, rubber.
Ferrer won so that gave Spain the tie 3-2 and a place in the semi finals where they'll face France.