Spain take 2-0 lead over US in Davis Cup final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Rafael Nadal upset world number two Andy Roddick in four sets to give Spain a 2-0 lead over the United States in the Davis Cup final on Friday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Rafael Nadal upset world number two Andy Roddick in four sets to give Spain a commanding two-nil lead over the United States in the Davis Cup final on Friday. Earlier, Carlos Moya saw off Mardy Fish in straight sets 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. The Davis Cup final between Spain and the U.S.A. got underway on Friday in front of a partisan home crowd at Seville's Olympic Stadium - at more than 27,000, the largest-ever to watch a competitive tennis match. The opening rubber saw Spanish number one Carlos Moya take on American Mardy Fish. At first it was Fish, rather than Moya, who seemed to be inspired by the atmosphere, surging into a 3-0 lead early in the first set. But the former world number one soon eased into his stride and broke twice himself to take the opening set 6-4. Olympic silver medalist Fish had won two of his three previous matches against Moya but those victories came on hard courts. And on the slow clay of Seville, once the initial nervousness had worn off, the Spaniard soon had complete control. A pair of breaks in each of the second and third sets saw him wrap up a comfortable 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory, giving Spain a one-nil lead after the opening rubber. Nadal beats Roddick The second and final rubber of the day brought together 18-year-old Rafael Nadal and the U.S.A.'s world number two Andy Roddick. After 71 minutes, the American edged an extremely tight opening set, taking the tie-break by eight points to six. But from then on the teenage Spaniard was simply sensational, whipping the crowd into a frenzy as he combined power on his sweeping left-handed groundstrokes with a touch on repeated drop-shots that even Roddick applauded. Consequently, Nadal swept through the second set in 34 minutes, breaking his opponent twice. In a gruelling third set, which lasted 85 minutes, Nadal failed to capitalise on any of eight break points, and was again forced into a tie-break. The roles were reversed from the first set, as a cross-court backhand pass gave it to Nadal 8-6 for a two-sets-to-one lead. And the fourth set turned out to be little more than a procession, as Nadal swept past a dispirited Roddick, taking it six games to two. It was only the second meeting between the pair - but a considerable turnaround from their first encounter three months ago in the second round of the U.S. Open, which Roddick won 6-0, 6-3, 6-4. Ominously for the U.S.A., only six teams in the history of the Davis Cup final have managed to come back from trailing two-nil to win. (AP)

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