Great Britain's Davis Cup hopes ended in disappointment as they were beaten by a Rafael Nadal-inspired Spain in the semi-finals.
Even without the injured Andy Murray, GB pushed Spain all the way in Madrid over the course of the week, but in the end came up short in a 2-1 defeat against the hosts.
The teams had been level at 1-1 after the singles matches, with Nadal beating Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund overcoming Feliciano Lopez.
And in the deciding rubber, British pair Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski were agonisingly edged out 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8) by Nadal and Lopez to spark wild scenes in the Spanish capital.
The British pair had their chances in the decider, but their inability to capitalise on any of the four set points they had proved costly in the end, with the Spaniards converting their second match point.
Spain, who last won the competition in 2011, will meet Canada next after they overcame Russia in the other semi-final to reach their first ever final.
"It's really, really special," said a victorious Nadal. "Thank you to Feli [Lopez] and to the crowd who were amazing as well."
Skupski also reflected on the match, and admitted that the pair lost out in the decisive moments.
"I thought Jamie and I played a good match. Their guys served really well. We did have our chances, but they came up with big shots at the right time," Skupski said.
Andy Murray's fitness was a major talking point before the tie and GB captain Leon Smith ultimately decided that he couldn't be risked.
But the performances of Edmund in particular will reassure Smith that Murray will not be missed by the team as much as he once was. The world number 69 saw off Lopez, who was only drafted in as a last-minute replacement for the unwell Pablo Carreno Busta, but GB ultimately suffered from not having a world-class performer in the ranks to match Nadal.
Although Great Britain weren't able to add to their 2015 triumph, the fact that they pushed Spain so far even without Murray will cause optimism for the future. They are also at least guaranteed a place in next year's 18-nation finals as a result of reaching the last four.News Now - Sport News