Stanislas Wawrinka has found a way to hurt Spain on clay defeating Nicolas Almagro 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. Spain had won their last 18 consecutive matches on home clay. The match was just one minute shy of 4 hours, with Wawrinka coming from behind twice to seal the necessary opening rubber against the Spaniards, giving the Swiss a chance of beating the Spaniards on home soil. The bad news for the Swiss is the entire Spanish team are clay court specialists, and the Swiss are going to have to win 2 more rubbers to move through to the next round.
Almagro, who played the Australian Open with a broken wrist, at times dominated Wawrinka, who looked completely off at various points in the match. But ultimately it was the greater experience of Wawrinka that pulled him through, maintaining his game plan despite a patchy performance.
Last years finals hero, David Ferrer, evened the tie at 1-1 after destroying Marco Chiudinelli 6-2, 7-6, 6-1. The first set was done and done before much time had past. Suddenly Chiudinelli must has remembered the last time he played Ferrer (admittedly in a dead rubber in Davis Cup) he had beaten Ferrer, because he raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set. Over the next few games he gifted Ferrer 10 double faults, allowing Ferrer back in the set.
The Swiss will now play the Spaniards in doubles on Saturday, hoping to win the all important match that often decides the meets. Tommy Robredo and Marcel Granollers will take on Stanislas Wawrinka and Yves Allegro at 4pm on Saturday, giving Wawrinka a chance to recover. With the very experienced Robredo on side for the doubles, the Spaniards are bound to come out on top.