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Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Saturday, 7 March 2009

Nadal storms to Davis Cup victory

Rafael Nadal
Nadal was on top form in his first clay-court match of 2009

Rafael Nadal put his injury worries and the stormy weather behind him to thrash Janko Tipsarevic as Spain took a 2-1 lead over Serbia in the Davis Cup.

The first day of the World Group first-round tie had been postponed after gale-force winds in Benidorm, but the champions wasted no time on Saturday.

Nadal hammered Tipsarevic 6-1 6-0 6-2, after David Ferrer had a superb 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over Novak Djokovic.

Serbia kept the clay-court tie alive with victory in the doubles rubber.

It was an impressive 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-6 (9-7) win for Viktor Troicki and Nenad Zimjic over Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo.

Nadal was playing for the first time since losing to Andy Murray in the Rotterdam final on 15 February because of a knee injury.

"It was a very solid performance," he said. "We are right in the middle of the hard-court season and it's not easy playing the first match in a while on clay."

Tipsarevic said: "I don't want to sound arrogant or look for excuses but it seemed more like a beach than a clay tennis court."

Djokovic also found conditions difficult having not played on clay since the French Open last June.

"So I basically just felt like I was in foreign territory today and made a lot of unforced errors," he said. "David played very solidly and he deserved to win."

WORLD GROUP 1st round latest
Argentina 3-0 Netherlands
Czech Rep 2-1 France
USA 2-1 Switzerland
Croatia 3-0 Chile
Sweden 2-1 Israel
Romania 1-2 Russia
Germany 2-1 Austria
Spain 2-1 Serbia
The Czech Republic moved into a 2-1 lead over the highly-fancied France as Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek beat Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-2.

"We have to talk with the players," said France captain Guy Forget. "We are down by one but there are still two games to go. There is still hope and we have to do what we can."

Argentina eased to an unassailable 3-0 lead over the Netherlands in Buenos Aires, with Lucas Arnold Ker and Martin Vassallo Arguello defeating Jesse Huta Galung and Rogier Wassen 6-4 7-5 6-3.

Mario Ancic and Marin Cilic beat Paul Capdeville and Nicolas Massu 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4 to give Croatia a decisive 3-0 lead over Chile in Porec.

Romania kept their hopes alive with a superb comeback, Marius Copil and Horia Tecau beating Marat Safin and Dmitry Tursunov 4-6 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to trail Russia 2-1 in Sibiu.

"This is a great win," said Tecau. "Just unbelievable. I hope our guys will be all fired up for tomorrow and will win both their matches."

Germany moved 2-1 ahead of Austria in Garmisch-Partenkirchen after Nicolas Kiefer and Philipp Kohlschreiber saw off Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya 6-3 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-4.

Swedish riot police face a demonstration outside the Baltic Hall
Swedish riot police face a demonstration outside the Baltic Hall
Sweden's tie against Israel was marred as around 100 demonstrators clashed with police in Malmo.

Malmo city council had ordered the tie be played behind closed doors for security reasons as up to 10,000 people protested against Israel's recent offensive in Gaza.

Inside the Baltic Hall, Sweden took a 2-1 lead with victory in the doubles.

In Birmingham, Alabama, the Bryan brothers put the USA 2-1 in front against Switzerland with a 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2) win over Yves Allegro and Stanislas Wawrinka.

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see also
Spain tie suspended after gales
06 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Britain face Davis Cup struggle
06 Mar 09 |  Tennis

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