"Of course, it's a positive thing to win in straight sets", said Nadal, 31, who has not lost a singles match in the Davis Cup since his 2004 debut and in doubles since 2005.
The Spaniards found themselves 2-1 down at the start of play on Sunday, but Rafael Nadal levelled up proceedings with a fine win over world No. 4 Alexander Zverev. "It's my first clay-court match in a very long time, so it was great to find my rhythm so quickly", Zverev said.
Spain and Germany's tie was the only to go the distance, largely due to the surprising doubles win for Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Puetz over Feliciano Lopez and Mark Lopez.
With the Davis Cup format set to change, the tie between Spain and Germany was a reminder of how the competition at its very best can be among the finest spectacles in tennis. It's a great feeling and very unique to play here in front of my people.
This was also seen in the third set and the German was again broken by Nadal whose shot selection was of the highest quality.
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Miami Open champion John Isner smashed 43 aces to overcome a surprisingly stiff challenge from world No. 319 Joris de Loore to win the United States' first point with a 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 victory in a match that lasted over three hours.
The situation appeared even bleaker for the Americans in the second set when they fell 15-40 down while serving at 5-5, but this time Sock staved off two break points and the hosts won the ensuing tiebreaker and never looked back.
Chardy, a surprise selection ahead of Adrian Mannarino, the world 25, suffered his first Davis Cup defeat in six matches. France will host the winners of the tie between Spain and Germany, from 14-16 September, for a place in the Davis Cup final.
Croatia also made it into the last four as Australian Open runner-up, Marin Cilic, crushed Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1 6-1 6-1 to seal their tie 3-1. David Ferrer and Phillip Kohlschreiber will play the decisive rubber if it goes to the wire in Valencia.
France won Saturday's doubles to lead 2-1 and Lucas Pouille secured the win in the fourth match by beating Fabio Fognini 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.