Argentina trounces Spain with Davis Cup doubles win

David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank trounced Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-2 6-3 to secure Argentina’s first point of the Davis Cup final on Saturday and keep the best-of-five tie alive ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles.

After Rafa Nadal and David Ferrer put favourites Spain 2-0 ahead on Friday, victory for Nalbandian and doubles specialist Schwank means Argentina still have a slim chance of winning a first Davis Cup in their fourth final and avenging defeat to Spain in the 2008 title match in Mar del Plata.

However, with world number two Nadal apparently unbeatable on his beloved clay and full of confidence after his demolition of Juan Monaco on Friday, Spain remains on course for a fifth Davis Cup triumph and a third title in four years.

Saturday’s doubles rubber was always going to be Argentina’s best chance of a point, and despite Nalbandian and Schwank playing together for the first time, they overwhelmed the Spanish pair.

Not even the raucous home support at the purpose-built indoor court inside Seville’s Olympic stadium could will them to victory, Argentina’s success delighting the outnumbered but vocal travelling fans.

Volley seals victory
Nalbandian and Schwank converted five of their six break points and saved all three they faced with an efficient display of serve and volley and sealed victory when Verdasco netted a simple volley.

“It’s clear that today was not a good match from our side,” Spain’s captain Albert Costa said on Spanish television. “But tomorrow we have two more chances to win this Davis Cup.”

The result means the final will be decided on Sunday when Rafael Nadal tackles Juan Martin del Potro before David Ferrer meets Juan Monaco in the last reverse singles.—Reuters, Sapa-AFP.

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