Rafael Nadal Wins in Davis Cup in Belgium, Gives Spain Lead

Rafael Nadal is back with a vengeance.

The top-ranked tennis player in the world returned from a thigh injury to beat Ruben Bemelmans, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. The Davis Cup World Group match gave Spain a 2-0 lead.

The top-ranked Nadal was dominant in his first competitive match since injuring the leg during his loss in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

"I felt really comfortable with myself, and I felt I had the match under control," Nadal said. "It is not easy to come back after a while without competition."

Earlier, Fernando Verdasco beat Xavier Malisse 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to put Spain ahead in the best-of-five series. Spain can wrap up the series with a day to spare by winning the doubles Saturday.

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It might leave Nadal without a match to play on Sunday if coach Albert Costa decides to use another player.

"The important thing for me now is to play matches to find the right level, the right rhythm," Nadal said.

Verdasco was a late substitute for the injured David Ferrer.

"The beginning of the match was the key. You get the confidence," said Verdasco, who had plenty of Spanish fans in attendance at the 6,500-seat Spiroudome.

Nadal will return to the ATP tour next week in Indian Wells, Calif.