But Nadal kept up his end of the bargain on Sunday and the 36-year-old Ferrer showed all of his trademark never-say-die qualities to keep Spain's hopes of a sixth Davis Cup title alive.
Nadal contsantly pressured the Zverev serve, breaking on six occasions during the match, and proved he'll once again be the man to beat at the multitude of ATP events building up to the French Open.
It mattered little, however, as Nadal's thumping forehand secured a two-set lead and after the pair traded breaks at the start of the third, the home favourite moved through the gears and broke for 4-2 as Kohlschreiber went wide and then netted. "It was a great match for me in an unbelievable atmosphere". "It's always special to play in these arenas", added Nadal, who has played in four of Spain's five Davis Cup-winning teams.
The hip injury that forced Nadal, 31, out of the Australian Open in January hasn't totally subsided, but one wouldn't have guessed it after he notched an impressive straight-sets win over Kohlschreiber on Friday. Kohlschreiber twice fought back from a set down, but former French Open runner-up Ferrer broke in the 11th game of the decider and held his nerve on serve after nearly five hours on court.
But Fognini later returned the favour with a comeback win over Chardy, recovering from a first-set loss and going on to break the Frenchman eight times over the final three sets en route to a 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 win.
CWG: Punam, Vikas clinch gold, bronze (Weightlifting Roundup)
Thakur added a second Commonwealth Games medal to his name, extending India's overall tally at the Gold Coast Games to 11. That being said, this is the first Gold for India's Women's Team in Table Tennis at the Commonwealth Games.
The victory helped to set a record for the longest winning streak in the competition's history.
"But I am excited to be back - hopefully it will be a positive week for me". "18 months ago, he was playing for the first time, and now he is our leader on and off the court", captain Noah said of Pouille.
The United States could become the first team to seal their place in the semis later on Saturday if Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison beat Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen in Nashville.
Fourth seeds Croatia wrapped up a 3-1 win over Kazakhstan on Sunday as world number three Marin Cilic thrashed Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 6-1 6-1 in Varazdin.
Last time Spain reached the semi-finals, they ended up as beaten finalists against Czech Republic in 2012.