The former world No. 1 Nadal dropped only four games in routing helpless Argentine Juan Monaco 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in 2 hours, 27 minutes Friday on the indoor red clay at Olympic Stadium.
After cruising through the first two sets, Nadal picked up a service break for a 3-2 lead in the third following the best point of the match, an incredible rally that finally concluded with a backhand winner into an open court on Day 1. Monaco took a spill trying to get to the winning shot and wound up with bloody scrapes on both knees.
Nadal is now 19-1 lifetime in Davis Cup singles, including 19 straight wins and an unbeatable 15-0 record on his beloved clay.
The six-time French Open titlist Nadal, Ferrer and del Potro represent three of the top-11 players in the world. The 25-year-old Nadal and 29-year-old Ferrer are a combined 26-0 on clay for four-time champion Spain in Davis Cup action.
Saturday's doubles will pit a left-handed Spanish tandem of Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco against an Argentine duo of David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank, while Sunday's reverse singles currently call for the world No. 2 Nadal to meet del Potro and Ferrer to take on the 26th-ranked Monaco.
Argentine captain Tito Vazquez left oft-injured former top-five star and former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian, who hasn't played since mid- October, out of the singles lineup on Friday. The world No. 64, however, could play on Sunday if needed.
Powerful Spain is 3-0 all-time versus Argentina, including a road victory in the 2008 Davis Cup final in Mar del Plata. The Spaniards have won four of the last 11 Davis Cup titles, while Argentina is still seeking that elusive first-ever championship, having gone 0-3 in its previous finals (1981, 2006, 2008).
Spain, captained by former French Open champ Albert Costa, is trying to win its third title in four years.