Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer win
CORDOBA, Spain -- Rafael Nadal shrugged off his disappointment and fatigue from losing the U.S. Open final to rout Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-0, 6-1 Friday and help Spain take a 2-0 lead over France in the Davis Cup semifinals.
Nadal, playing on his favored outdoor clay in hot conditions at Cordoba's bullring only four days after losing to Novak Djokovic in New York, mixed precision and power to give the hosts the early lead.
Need the scores from any match played in today's tournaments? Results
Spain hasn't lost on home soil since 1999 and needs one more point to reach its sixth final since 2000. A win would advance Spain to the final against the Serbia-Argentina winner.
"I'm not particularly happy with the games I've played against Djokovic, but the more I play him the better chance I have of beating him," said Nadal, who has lost six straight finals to Djokovic this season.
France, which is without the injured Gael Monfils, has rallied from 2-0 deficits three times before but not since 1996.
"I think the double point was always the most accessible one for us on paper, so we have to go for that," said captain Guy Forget. "(Spain) were better in nearly aspect of the game today. (But) we still have a chance to win, I hope."
Nadal, meanwhile, hasn't lost a Davis Cup singles match since his debut in 2004. Despite draping himself in a towel to hide from the searing heat in the changeovers, that run never looked in doubt.
"Everything worked out for the best. At the start it was complicated and I was at the limit, physically," Nadal, who is 13-0 on clay and 17-1 overall in the Davis Cup, said. "But the effort was positive and in all moments I did what I had to do."
Despite getting tested early, the French Open champion soon pulled away from 4-3 in the first set as he won the next 11 games with a mix of forehand and net winners.
Nadal's 30th winner, an exquisite drop shot, clinched a 2-hour victory in which Gasquet failed to conjure up a single break point. Gasquet dropped to 0-10 against the second-ranked Spaniard.
"Maybe he wasn't as strong as his matches at Roland Garros, but a player is exceptional when he plays like that in such heat," said Gasquet, who had 40 unforced errors. "The heat gives him an advantage, as the ball bounces higher and they are harder to play."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
MORE TENNIS HEADLINES
- Del Potro, Fish, Baker out of French Open
- Querrey beats Stakhovsky for Nice quarters
- Top-seeded Tipsarevic upset in Duesseldorf
- Hsieh, Niculescu lose in Strasbourg 2nd round