BUENOS AIRES, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- David Nalbandian and Juan Martin del Potro each had straight-set wins Friday, giving Argentina a 2-0 lead in its best-of-five Davis Cup semifinal with Russia.
Nalbandian opened the series with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-4 victory over Igor Andreev and del Potro had a surprisingly easy 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 rout of Nikolay Davydenko on a clay court in Buenos Aires.
Argentina can earn a spot in the Davis Cup finals with a win Saturday by its doubles team of Agustin Calleri and Guillermo Canas. Russia will counter with Igor Kunitsyn and Dmitry Tursunov. Sunday will see reverse singles. Russia needs to win all three remaining matches to earn a fourth consecutive Davis Cup final.
Nalbandian's match turned on the seventh point in the tiebreaker. Andreev thought the shot was out, which would have put him up 5-2 in the tiebreaker, but it was called in. Nalbandian won the replayed point and was in control the rest of the way.
Del Potro's win is an upset since Davydenko is ranked sixth in the world. But Del Potro entered Friday having won 23 of his previous 24 matches and he continued the strong play Friday. Del Potro had six service breaks and won half of the points on Davydenko's serve.
The Argentina-Russia winner will meet the winner of the semifinal in Madrid pitting the Spain against the United States. Spain has a 2-0 lead in that best-of-five semifinal.