Nadal spearheads Spain

2011-12-02 19:11

Seville - Rafael Nadal brushed aside Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to give Spain the first point of the Davis Cup final against Argentina here on Friday.

David Ferrer and Juan Martin Del Potro meet later in the second singles rubber at the Estadio Olimpico, and history suggests that Argentina can ill afford to lose it -- the last team to recover from a 2-0 deficit in the final was Australia in 1939.

Nadal may be suffering from mental and physical tiredness at the end of a gruelling season, but he repaid the faith shown in him by captain Albert Costa by winning in less than two and a half hours to maintain Spain's 12-year unbeaten home record in the Davis Cup.

It was the Mallorcan's 67th best-of-five-sets match on clay, and his 66th win, with his sole defeat coming at the hands of Robin Soderling at Roland Garros in 2009.

He was far too strong for his 26th-ranked opponent, returning superbly and not facing a single break point over the course of the match.

Monaco saved three break points in the very first game, but was soon swept away by the six-time French Open champion in front of a hostile home crowd of 28,000.