French doubles pair Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra thumped Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-1 6-2 6-0 on Saturday to ensure their Davis Cup semi-final will be decided by Sunday's singles.

Rafa Nadal showed little sign of post-U.S. Open fatigue when he thrashed Richard Gasquet in Friday's opening singles rubber and David Ferrer followed up with a demolition of Gilles Simon to give the home side a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five tie on clay in Cordoba.

However, the powerful Tsonga and doubles specialist Llodra finally gave the blue-clad French support baking inside the converted bullring something to cheer with a dominant performance that clawed back a point for a 2-1 scoreline.

With world number two Nadal and number five Ferrer on blistering form on their favored surface, Spain remain clear favorites to advance to December's final against champions Serbia or Argentina.

In Sunday's reverse singles, Nadal is due to play Simon and Ferrer will take on Gasquet, with play scheduled to start at 1000 GMT (6 a.m. EDT).

They (Tsonga and Llodra) played a brilliant match and we never got into it, Spain captain Albert Costa told Spanish television.

We are still very excited and confident that we can win the tie, he added. Let's see if we can win the first match tomorrow and if not we'll wait for the second.

The Spanish, who lost 5-0 to the French in last year's quarter-finals when Nadal was absent, are bidding for a third title in four years and a fifth overall.

France fell 3-2 to Serbia in the 2010 final and their last title came in 2001 thanks to a 3-2 victory over Australia in Melbourne.