Vancouver, BC – Milos Raonic and Frank Dancevic came through with singles wins as Canada jumped out to a 2-0 lead against a depleted Spanish squad in the first round of the 2013 Davis Cup.
The world No. 15 Raonic handled Albert Ramos 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the first rubber of the best-of-five tie from Vancouver's Thunderbird Sports Centre, while Dancevic cruised to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Marcel Granollers to put Spain, the 2012 Davis Cup runner-up, on the brink of elimination.
The five-time champion Spaniards were ousted by the Czech Republic in last November's finale, but entered this year's tournament without their top three stars in 11-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, world No. 4 David Ferrer and 11th-ranked Nicolas Almargo.
Nadal has been sidelined since June due to tendinitis in his left knee, while Almargo withdrew from the event last week because of a leg injury.
Ramos, ranked 51st in the world, edged Raonic in a tiebreaker to narrowly take the first set, but the Canadian wasn't broken the rest of the way and ripped off 17 of his 26 aces over the final three sets.
Dancevic, who entered the tie 166th in the latest ATP rankings, surprisingly had a far easier time in disposing of the world No. 34 Granollers. The Ontario native delivered 42 total winners, won 78 percent of first-serve points and dropped only five games combined for the match.
Granollers will team with Marc Lopez in Saturday's doubles event to attempt to keep the Spaniards alive, with Canada sending out the tandem of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.
The winner in Vancouver will advance to face the Croatia-Italy victor in April's quarterfinals.