Castellon, Spain – Clay-court stalwarts David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro combined to give reigning champion Spain a commanding 2-0 lead over Austria in their 2012 Davis Cup quarterfinal.
Friday's opening singles in the best-of-five tie saw a 12th-ranked Almagro dismantle world No. 21 Austrian lefthander Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in 1 hour, 56 minutes and a fifth-ranked Ferrer destroy world No. 139 Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-1, 6-3, 6-1 in a brisk 1 hour, 26 minutes.
The Spaniards can advance to September's semifinals with a doubles victory in Castellon on Saturday, when Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez take on a quality Austrian duo of Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya on the red clay at Marina d'Or.
Sunday's reverse singles currently call for Ferrer to meet Melzer and Almagro to be opposed by Haider-Maurer.
The great Rafael Nadal opted against playing for the powerful hosts this week.
Spain is led by rookie captain and former top-five player Alex Corretja, while Austria is piloted by Clemens Trimmel. The Austrians are 3-1 all-time against the Spaniards, including a win in their last meeting in Vienna back in 1995. The two nations first met way back in 1934.
Mighty Spain beat Argentina in last year's finale to capture its third Davis Cup title in four years and fifth overall championship -- all since 2000. Austria has never won the coveted chalice.
The winner here will battle the France-United States victor in the semis.