Rafael Nadal sealed title success for hosts Spain in the inaugural edition of the revamped Davis Cup at La Caja Magica after Roberto Bautista Agut recorded an emotional victory just three days after the death of his father.
Fittingly it was Spain’s talisman, world No.1 Nadal, who beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6(7) to give Spain a sixth Davis Cup title with a win over first-time finalists Canada on Sunday.
Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6(3) 6-3 in the first singles match.
— Roberto BautistaAgut (@BautistaAgut) November 24, 2019
Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez were scheduled to face Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil in the doubles if needed, although Nadal was likely to play if the title had been at stake. Nadal played in the decisive doubles on Friday and Saturday.
The parochial Spanish crowd that packed the La Caja Magica’s centre court erupted when Nadal converted his third match point against Shapovalov to bring to end a drama-filled week of tennis.
The world No.1 capped off a gruelling finals campaign by winning all of his eight matches at the 18-nation competition that debuted a World Cup-style format.
Playing for the fourth successive day, the 33-year-old was surely tired and it began to show as Shapovalov fought to keep Canada alive in their first Davis Cup final.
Nadal saved a set point in the second-set tiebreak before claiming his 29th successive Davis Cup singles win.
Rafael Nadal: What Roberto did today is something out of this planet. pic.twitter.com/HpL526j9L6
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) November 24, 2019
Tournament organiser and Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique, his wife Shakira — who performed in the closing ceremony — and Spanish King Felipe VI were among those celebrating Spain’s first Davis Cup title since 2011.
The celebration was especially emotional for world No.9 Bautista Agut, who sent Spain on their way to victory after returning to the team following the death of his father on Thursday.
He pointed his finger to the sky after winning the final point. His father’s health deteriorated after an illness that stemmed from a 2016 accident.
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