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Rafael Nadal bursts out of slump at Davis Cup final

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Rafael Nadal admitted to being "a little nervous" before his Davis Cup final match Friday against Juan Monaco -- but that's a lot better than feeling less passionate about the game, which is how he said he felt last week after a subpar performance at the ATP world finals.

Turns out Nadal had little to be nervous about and showed plenty of passion in a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Monaco to give Spain a 1-0 lead over Argentina.

“I was a little nervous at the start but after I broke him, I started playing well,” said Nadal, who dropped the first game before winning the next seven.

Nadal has not dropped a set in Davis Cup play in over three years and is 19-1 overall in singles play.

“The best part of my game was I didn't make mistakes," he said. "The most important thing is we're up 1-0."

It definitely helped that Nadal was playing on his favored clay surface in front of a home crowd of about 27,000, including King Juan Carlos, at Olympic Stadium in Seville. Nadal improved to 12-0 in the Davis Cup on clay, a surface on which Spain hasn't lost in 22 ties at the event.

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-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Rafael Nadal. Credit: Daniel Ochoa de Olza / Associated Press

 
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