In an all-Latino Davis Cup final, Spain’s Rafael Nadal outlasted Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro to give his country its fifth title…
The 25-year-old former World No. 1 recovered from a dreadful start to beat del Potro 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (0) on Sunday on a day Nadal called “one of the most emotional” of his career.
With del Potro firing a rash of forehand winners, Nadal suffered his most lopsided set defeat in the competition, with the Spaniard failing to hold his first four serves.
But Nadal starting finding his rhythm in the second set, just as Del Potro started misfiring.
Nadal managed to record one of his 35 winners to win the second set. He then cruised through the third set on course for the win.
Del Potro did stage a late comeback attempt by breaking Nadal four times in the fourth set to send it to a tiebreaker, where Nadal raced ahead without losing a single point before securing the victory with a beautiful forehand winner.
Spain’s players swarmed their teammate after he had dropped to the ground in celebration, while Del Potro exited the clay surface in tears for the second time in three days after losing Friday’s singles match to David Ferrer.
“After such a difficult year, this was a spectacular finale to the season,” said an emotional Nadal, a 10-time Grand Slam tournament champion who won the Davis Cup title for the third time in his career. “To win a final this way is very special.”
It’s Spain’s third title in four years. This year’s team consisted of Nadal, Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco.
Meanwhile, Nadal, who took gold in Beijing in 2008, says he won’t play in next year’s Davis Cup and will instead focus on defending his gold medal at the London Olympics.