MADRID (Information) – Spain’s talisman Rafael Nadal sealed a sixth Davis Cup title for his nation on Sunday after they beat Canada 2-Zero within the closing of the revamped occasion.
Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Last – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – November 24, 2019 Spain’s Rafael Nadal takes a selfie with crew mates after profitable the Davis Cup closing Information/Sergio Perez
After every week of relentless stress and late-night heroics it was maybe asking an excessive amount of for the primary closing within the Davis Cup’s new guise to ship a basic and so it proved as Spain turned the final nation standing of the 18 who assembled in Madrid.
With Spain’s King Felipe watching on, the 33-year-old Nadal fought off Canadian teen Denis Shapovalov 6-Three 7-6(7) to offer Spain their first title since 2011.
If any participant deserved to get his palms on the well-known outdated trophy once more it was Nadal after he labored additional time all week, usually into the small hours, to win all eight matches he performed.
However he absolutely would have been glad had it been crew mate Roberto Bautista Agut to have delivered the profitable level.
Bautista Agut had given the hosts a flying begin, beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(Three) 6-2 after returning to the squad following the dying of his father.
“An incredible week in each method,” mentioned Nadal, who has now gained 29 successive Davis Cup singles matches since 2004. “The very important particular person has been Roberto Bautista.”
After beating Auger-Aliassime, Bautista Agut was embraced by his captain Sergi Bruguera and there have been emotional scenes on the finish as roars of “Campiones” echoed across the area.
“It was a dream day and all of the crew members have made an unimaginable effort, particularly Rafa, going to sleep at three, 4 and 5 within the morning and the following day going out to play,” Bautista Agut mentioned. “It may solely be as a result of we’re Spanish.”
For Gerard Pique, the Barcelona soccer participant who has made revamping the Davis Cup right into a tennis World Cup his mission, it was the right climax to every week during which the brand new format suffered glitches however could possibly be judged a certified success.
Too many late nights, one session ending at Four.07 a.m., a sophisticated group stage and tiny crowds at some ties imply there’s nonetheless heaps to enhance if the $80 million Pique’s Kosmos firm is investing within the occasion annually is sustainable.
However Sunday felt like an genuine Davis Cup closing, even when an look from Pique’s pop singer spouse Shakira added just a little extra glamour than typical.
As soon as the tennis started it rapidly turned obvious that Canada captain Frank Dancevic’s determination to vary his lineup for the primary time all week may need backfired.
Vasek Pospisil, ranked 150, had been excellent all week, beating Italy’s 12th-ranked Fabio Fognini and American Reilly Opelka within the group part, taking down Australia’s John Millman within the quarter-finals and partnering Shapovalov to a deciding doubles victory over Russia within the semi-final.
Auger-Aliassime, who has been out with an ankle damage, was given his first name of the week however was outplayed by a rock-solid Bautista Agut, who rejoined the squad on Saturday.
That left Shapovalov seemingly going through mission unattainable and his solely likelihood was Nadal’s tank being dry.
Having come this far there was no likelihood Nadal would falter — not with 25,000 Spaniards roaring at each whipped winner.
When he took the opening set with a single break it was all feeling just a little anti-climactic for the neutrals however Shapovalov injected some late drama into the proceedings.
The Canadian’s serve started to click on and his groundstrokes lastly took the zip out of Nadal’s legs.
Extremely Nadal confirmed mercy at 6-Four within the tiebreak, failing to place away a brief forehand, and Shapovalov arrowed a winner down the road. The Canadian, cheered on by a whole bunch of his countrymen, saved one other match level then had a set level of his personal however Nadal averted the hazard with a heavy serve.
Nadal obtained to a 3rd match level and this time Shapovalov couldn’t struggle again.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; enhancing by Clare Fallon