It didn’t take much time or effort for recently crowned US Open champ Rafael Nadal to transition from hard court to the clay, as he kicked off Friday’s Davis Cup World Group playoff in Madrid with a dominant win over Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-0, 6-0, 6-4.
Nadal, who is on the verge of regaining his world No. 1 ranking after the US Open win over Novak Djokovic, looked to be in top form in his Nike Air Max Courtballiste 4.3’s—yes, the same shoe’s he’s been rocking on tour for the past couple of years.
After failing to win a single game in the first two sets, Stakhovsky made a bit of a run in the third, holding serve four times. However, it was too little too late from the 92nd ranked player in the world, who upset Roger Federer in the second round of Wimbledon earlier this year.
Rafa responded with a break to take a 5-4 lead in the third, before serving it out to put the match away.
After the Nadal victory, and a win from Fernando Verdasco, Spain is in prime position to advance against Ukraine—one step closer to locking up a spot in the Davis Cup’s World Group.