Nadal hands Spain winning start in Davis Cup final


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The Independent Online

Rafael Nadal unsurprisingly got Spain off to the perfect start in their Davis Cup final with Argentina in Seville today.

Nadal maintained his 100% record in the competition on clay with a 6-1 6-1 6-2 victory over Juan Monaco in the opening rubber.

The world number two needed just two hours and 27 minutes to give four-time champions Spain a 1-0 lead and claim his 19th win in 20 singles rubbers - his only loss coming against Czech Jiri Novak on his debut as a 17-year-old in 2004.

Nadal crashed out of the ATP World Tour finals in London in the group stages last week, but looked much more at home on his favourite red clay today.

"It was a very very important victory for me and I played a really solid match," he told Sky Sports 4.

"It's 1-0 and I'm very happy to put the first point on the board for our country. I did everything to try to arrive here in good condition and I did that."

Monaco had to save three break points in the opening game of the match, but then lost the next six games in a row as Nadal began to dominate.

The Spaniard broke Monaco's serve twice more to take the second set by the same scoreline and then won the rally of the match in the third set to secure another crucial break.

Argentina will now be hoping former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro can beat David Ferrer in the second singles rubber to level the tie.