Rafael Nadal showed no hint of a US Open hangover as he crushed Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-0, 6-0, 6-4 to put Spain 2-0 up on Ukraine in their Davis Cup World Group play-off in Madrid.
The world number two and new US Open champion returned to action less than four days after securing a second success at Flushing Meadows, and a 13th Grand Slam in total.
Yet he showed no signs of fatigue as he mastered his favourite clay surface and in so doing inflicted a humiliating defeat on the world 92nd ranked player who dumped Roger Federer out of Wimbledon in July.
“It is a positive moment and a very special year for me, arguably the best,” said Nadal. “I have played in 11 finals and won 10 tournaments so I can’t ask for more.”
Earlier, Fernando Verdasco had battled back from a set down to beat world number 40 Alexandr Dolgopolov 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 to put Spain firmly in command.
Meanwhile, Canada ended the first day of their Davis Cup semi-final with Serbia level on 1-1 as Janko Tipsarevic failed to follow up Novak Djokovic’s opening win.
Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in the third of four consecutive bids to win the US Open final, beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-0, 6-4.
But in the following rubber, Montenegro-born Canadian Milos Raonic, the world number 11, defeated the 23rd-ranked Janko Tipsarevic in a dramatic five-set match 5-7, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.
Murray secures win for Britain
Another player to dish out a tennis lesson was Britain’s Andy Murray, who thumped 16-year-old Borna Coric 6-3, 6-0, 6-3 as Croatia and Britain finished the day tied at 1-1 in Umag.
The US Open junior champion initially caused Britain’s world number three problems but from 3-3 in the first set, Murray won nine games in a row to take complete control.
“He [Coric] is very talented and it was not easy to play against him,” said the 26-year-old Wimbledon and Olympic champion.
However, his British teammate Daniel Evans was then well beaten 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 by Ivan Dodig as Croatia drew level.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2013.
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