BARCELONA: Rafael Nadal returned to action of the Davis Cup for the first time in two years on Friday with victory put Spain ahead in a Group One relegation playoff against Denmark.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion, lacking form and defeated in the third round of US Open Fabio Fognini beat Mikael number 909 6-4 6-3 6-2 Torpegaard world. The 29-year-old last appeared against Ukraine in 2013, since when the five-time champions have fallen out of the World Group, and was accompanied by David Ferrer and Spain established a 2-0 lead in the first day. Nadal did not have things all their own way against Torpegaard, who had three break points to take a 5-4 lead in the first set before Nadal regained control.
In the World Group playoffs, big guns Swiss Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka helped his country to a 2-0 lead against the Netherlands, but Wawrinka was given a scare before beating Thiemo de Bakker in five sets.
Nadal US Open conqueror Fognini beat Russian teenager Andrey Rublev leave Italy drew 1-1 after the first day of the World Group playoffs in Irkutsk.
The United States, 32 times champion, were locked at 1-1 with Uzbekistan after Steve Johnson lost to Denis Istomin five sets before Jack Sock leveled things with the victory over Farrukh Dustov in Tashkent.