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Nadal, Ferrer give Spain 2-0 Davis Cup lead
Rafa Nadal, David Ferrer give Spain 2-0 lead vs Argentina 2-0 in Davis Cup final
By The Associated Press

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) ' David Ferrer put Spain on the brink of another Davis Cup title by rallying for a 6-2, 6-7 (2), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory Friday over Juan Martin del Potro to give the host a 2-0 lead over Argentina in the final.

After Rafael Nadal earned a dominant win over Juan Monaco in the first match, Ferrer looked to be in trouble after Del Potro went ahead 2-1. But the Argentine seemed to struggle with fatigue and nerves down the stretch, double-faulting on set point in the fourth to force a decider.

Ferrer took a 5-1 lead before clinching the victory with a forehand winner.

Nadal eased to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 win over Monaco.

Four-time champion Spain can close out the series in Saturday's doubles.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) ' Rafael Nadal returned to the comfort of clay and gave Spain a 1-0 lead over Argentina in the Davis Cup final by dispatching Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 Friday.

Nadal broke his Argentine opponent seven times at Olympic Stadium in front of King Juan Carlos.

Four-time champion Spain looks to take command of the best-of-five series when David Ferrer faced Juan Martin del Potro in the second singles rubber late Friday.

Monaco held his first service game but Nadal took control by winning the next seven games. The six-time French Open champion dominated many of the long rallies.

"The best part of my game was I didn't make mistakes," said Nadal, who improved to 19-1 in singles play and 12-0 on clay. "The most important thing is we're up 1-0. We're confident David can make it 2-0."

In front of about 27,000 spectators, Nadal looked nothing like the player who struggled in the ATP World Tour Finals in London last week when he admitted to feeling less passionate about the game.

"Nothing is natural. It takes a lot of practice," the second-ranked Nadal said of making the transition between surfaces. "I'm really happy, this is a very important victory for me."

Nadal converted the first of 14 break chances with a forehand passing shot for a 2-1 lead.

"I was a little nervous at the start but after I broke him, I started playing well," said Nadal, who hasn't dropped a set in Davis Cup in over three years.

Nadal's impressive selection of winners ' he hit 26 in all ' kept Monaco off balance during many long rallies, with Nadal clinching the first set when Monaco netted a forehand.

Nadal enjoyed a remarkable fourth game in the second when the 10-time Grand Slam champ sprinted across the court repeatedly to keep balls in play before curling a backhand down the line for the point.

In the third set, King Juan Carlos out of his seat to applaud the fifth game. Monaco fell into the net to give Nadal a break chance, and the Argentine was again in the clay after a lengthy exchange that closed with a Nadal smash at the net for 3-2. Monaco had his left wrist taped along with a bloodied left knee.

Nadal didn't drop a point on his second serve and scored 89 total points to Monaco's 52. Monaco netted a backhand for his 43rd unforced error to end the match.

"I felt like I was playing well but, frankly, it's Rafa Nadal," said Monaco, playing in his first final against one of his best friends. "Where can you win a point off this kid, is what you're left wondering a lot of the time.

"He always recovered his positioning. With any other player, the point ends much sooner. He didn't give me any chances."

Spain hasn't lost on clay for 22 ties, including a record 20 straight on home soil dating to 1999 as it vies for its third title in four years.

Argentina is attempting its first Davis Cup trophy in its fourth final.

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