June 20, 2013
Nadal trounces Gasquet in Davis Cup semi opener
Spanish world number two Rafa Nadal showed little sign of post-US Open fatigue when he thrashed France's Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-0 6-1 in the opening singles rubber of their Davis Cup semi-final on Friday.
Nadal's participation in the best-of-five tie on clay in Spain's sweltering Cordoba had been in doubt after he lost a gruelling US Open final to Novak Djokovic last Monday.
However, after flying straight back to join team mates David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez he dispatched 15th-ranked Gasquet in a little over two hours as favourites Spain bid for a third title in four years.
"I was serving well, especially in the opening two sets, and that gave me a lot of composure," Nadal, dripping with sweat, said in an interview with Spanish television.
"The effort was positive as if the game had dragged on it could have been tough for me," the 25-year-old added after completing his 10th win in 10 matches over Gasquet.
World number five Ferrer plays Gilles Simon, the number 11, in today's second singles rubber and Lopez and Verdasco are due to meet Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in tomorrow's doubles.
As hosts, Spain have chosen to play the tie on their favoured red dust and with clay king Nadal on form they are firm favourites to advance to December's final, where they would meet champions Serbia or Argentina.