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Rafa returns in style – but Novak comes up short

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:30

While everything else about the tie so far has not gone with the script, Rafael Nadal ensured that something about Spain’s tie with Serbia went according to plan. The world No.1 was imperious on his return from injury, thrashing Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 6-0 6-2 on the clay courts of Benidorm.

The result puts Spain 2-0 up in the tie following David Ferrer’s shock 6-3 6-3 7-6(4) victory over Novak Djokovic in the other singles tie, with the doubles to be played later on Saturday after Friday’s play was cancelled due to high winds.

Djokovic complained about his lack of practice time on clay after an error-strewn display

Nadal, playing for the first time since losing to Andy Murray in the Rotterdam final because of a knee injury, made light work of Tipsarevic on his return to clay, and was off court in just over an hour and a half.

Earlier, David Ferrer produced a superb performance to beat world No.3 Djokovic, leaving the Serb complaining about his lack of practice time on clay after an error-strewn display.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s tie against Israel was targeted by around 100 demonstrators, who clashed with police in Malmo. The tie is being played behind closed doors for security reasons as up to 10,000 people protested against Israel’s recent offensive in Gaza.

On court, the tie was locked at 1-1 after the opening day’s singles.

In other matches, Argentina lead the Netherlands 2-0 in Buenos Aires going into the doubles, while the Czech Republic and France are tied at 1-1 in Ostrava.

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