Rafael Nadal made an eye-catching move as the Australian United Cup drama festered

Rafael Nadal, pictured here as Spain and Australia were eliminated from the Fed Cup.

Rafa Nadal withdrew from the mixed doubles as Spain and Australia were eliminated from the Fed Cup. Photo: Getty

Rafa Nadal puts his full focus on defeating Australia at the Nations Cup after withdrawing from Spain’s mixed doubles match with Great Britain on Sunday night. Australia and Spain were both eliminated from the competition In the opening ceremony after just one draw after GB completed a stunning upset over the Spaniards.

And Dan Evans was the hero for England after they built an indomitable 3-1 lead on Sunday with a win over Albert Ramos-Viñolas. Cameron Norrie had stunned Nadal on Saturday before Katy Swan performed a similar action on Nuria Barrezas Dias.

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With Spain unable to beat the Brits after Evans’ victory, Nadal decided to forgo the mixed doubles and turn his attention to their next showdown against Australia. The Australians are already out of contention after losing 3-2 to GB earlier in the tournament.

follow from Nick Kyrgios withdraws on the eve of the United CupAustralian No. 1 Ajla Tomljanovic also pulled out on Sunday. Tomljanovic had earlier pulled out of her scheduled bout with Swann, and will not take part in Australia’s clash with Spain either.

With only the top team in each of the six groups advancing to the next round, Spain is also out of contention. But their players will get more match practice over the next couple of days against the Australian in a dead-on match.

Nadal will battle with Alex de Minor In a huge showdown before the Australian Open. The Spanish champion is 3-0 in his career ahead of De Minaur, who is running out of opportunities to beat the veteran who is at the end of his career.

“He’s a great player,” Nadal said of the world number 24 player. “He plays very fast. He plays with very high power. He took the ball very early. He improved the serve.” “(It’s going to be) another very tough game and I want to play it well to get any chance. So let’s see.”

Maddison Inglis will face Noria Parrizas Diaz in the second-ranked rubber, before taking on world number three Zoe Hives, Paula Badosa. Jason Kubler, who knocked out Dan Evans in their first draw, is set to take on Albert Ramos-Viñolas.

Rafael Nadal looks on during Spain's match with Great Britain in the Nations Cup.  (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal looks on during Spain’s match with Great Britain in the Nations Cup. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Great Britain beat Spain in extraordinary scenes

The Brits still have some work to do on Sunday against Spain after Harriet Dart was defeated by Badosa 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (7-5) 1-6. World No. 98 Dart pushed Badosa all the way, and at one point she was just two points away from winning the match in a thrilling second set tiebreaker.

But the 13th-ranked woman strengthened herself when it was very important and escaped with the third set to bring Spain back to par. With Nadal waiting for a possible fifth rubber, it all depends on what Ramos-Viñolas can do against Evans.

The Spaniard surged to life in the second set and Evans looked on edge heading into the decider. But the world number 27 made an important break in the seventh game and won 6-3 1-6 6-3.

“I don’t feel the strongest but I have a great team behind me,” Evans said. “It helps that it’s not a regular tournament; it’s hard to throw in the towel when you have it all behind you.”

With Spain out of the competition, Nadal and Badosa were replaced for the mixed doubles rubber. Fans took to social media to express their disappointment, with his withdrawal meaning Nadal has yet to play a tour-level mixed doubles match.

with AAP

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