|Nadal is still yet to lose a Davis Cup singles match on clay [GALLO/GETTY]|
Rafa Nadal thrashed Juan Monaco 6-1 6-1 6-2 and David Ferrer rallied to fell Juan Martin Del Potro in five thrilling sets to give Spain a 2-0 lead over Argentina in the final of the Davis Cup.
Playing on his favoured clay in front of a boisterous home crowd at Seville’s Olympic Stadium, Nadal clubbed 27 winners, 20 of them on his fearsome forehand, as the 26th-ranked Monaco was dismissed with brutal ease on Friday.
Nadal has never lost a Davis Cup singles rubber on clay and took his record on the red dust to 15-0 as Spain seek to add to their four titles against an Argentina side they upset to win the Cup in Mar del Plata in 2008.
As night fell over the Andalucian capital, the tenacious Ferrer fought back from two sets to one down to beat Del Potro
6-2 6-7 3-6 6-4 6-3 after almost five hours of attritional tennis and send the red and yellow clad home support into
“That was the match that we wanted from our side,” Argentina captain Tito Vazquez told a news conference.
“We were very close but not close enough. It’s very difficult. For us we have to start thinking about tomorrow, about
winning the doubles, and then who knows.
“Maybe Del Potro recovers, he is capable of beating Nadal. You never know, we could be back in the game but it’s a
Monaco, who did not muster a single break point on the Nadal serve, gave the heavily outnumbered but vocal Argentine support little to cheer about on an unusually damp Seville afternoon.
He made a slightly better fist of things in the third set but Nadal seemed to crush his spirit in the fifth game after an
incredible rally that had both players scrambling all over the court and brought even Spanish King Juan Carlos to his feet.
The point, which left Monaco with a bloodied left knee, secured Nadal his sixth break of the Argentine’s serve and he
broke again for a 5-2 lead before serving out the match to love.
The doubles are to be played on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday.