MADRID (AFP) - World number one Rafael Nadal outclassed US rookie Sam Querrey in four sets Friday in the opening encounter of the Davis Cup semi-final to get Spain off to a winning start in the best of five series. Nadal beat the 39th-ranked 20-year-old 6-7 (5/7) 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the dramatic atmosphere of the ornate 22,000-capacity Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, where the Spaniard's points were greeted with loud cheers and chants of Ole, Ole, Ole Spain is now 1-0 up over the reigning Davis Cup champions, whom they beat in the 2004 final in Seville, when Nadal, then 18 and relatively unknown, also won his match on the opening day. But the Spaniard struggled in the first set Friday against the powerful serves of the 1.98-metre (6ft6in) big-hitting Querrey, who scored 17 first-serve aces in the match to Nadal's one. The 22-year-old then found the form that has brought him the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic titles this year and seen him dethrone Roger Federer as world number one.After taking the second set 6-4, an early break of service by Nadal in the third set meant Querrey had too far to come back. Another break against the American in the ninth game of the fourth set meant Nadal only had to hold his serve to win. The Davis Cup rookie made 74 unforced errors to Nadal's 35 throughout the match, which lasted three hours, 17 minutes. Querrey, who had lost both his two previous meetings with Nadal, was a late replacement for world number nine James Blake, who withdrew from the US squad, citing exhaustion. Friday's next match pits Spain's fifth-ranked David Ferrer against Andy Roddick, ranked eight. In Saturday's doubles, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco face the US pairing of Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish.Fish is a replacement for Bryan's usual doubles partner, his twin brother Bob, who pulled out with a shoulder injury. Spanish tennis federation officials selected Madrid's Las Ventas bull ring over three coastal towns as the site of the tie despite objections from Nadal and teammates that the city's 600-metre (2,100-foot) altitude would favour the US players' faster game. The winners of the tie faces Argentina or Russia, who are playing in the other semi-final in Buenos Aires.