Rafael Nadal Leads Spain to Davis Cup Title Over Canada

Rafael Nadalhas helped Spain win big…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, ranked No. 1 in the world, risked injury by playing eight matches — five singles, three doubles — in six days at the Davis Cup Finals, the new World Cup of tennis.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal won all of them, leading Spain to its sixth Davis Cup title after a 2-0 win over first-time finalist Canada on Sunday.

But in Nadal’s view, the only hero for Spain was grieving teammate Roberto Bautista Agut. He sent Spain on its way to victory by winning the first singles match on Sunday, three days after the death of his father.

“I’ve won the eight matches but the person who was vital in this Davis Cup was Roberto,” Nadal said. “For me, what he did was something almost inhuman. I don’t know how to explain it. It will be an example for the rest of my life. He had to leave, then his dad died, then he came back and practiced with us yesterday, and today he was ready again to play at a very high level. It was something incredible.”

Spain Davis Cup

Before Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 (7) to clinch the title — Spain’s first since also winning at home in 2011 — Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime7-6 (3), 6-3.

Bautista Agut pointed his finger to the sky after winning the final point in his match, and was in tears while speaking briefly to the crowd, which chanted his name. And he was the Spanish player lifting the cup in the title celebrations.

Bautista Agut’s father died on Thursday — a day after his son had defeated Nikola Mektic of Croatia — with his health deteriorating quickly after an illness that stemmed from a 2016 accident.

Bautista Agut, No. 9 in the world, played as teammates Pablo Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers nursed injuries entering the final.

As for Nadal, he considered himself lucky to be able to play all matches.

“It’s true that I held up, but we know that playing so many matches in this [hard-court] surface is risky for me, something can happen at any time,” Nadal said. “That’s how it’s been in the past, but luckily I held up.”

Spain’s Granollers and Feliciano Lopezhad been scheduled to face Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisilin the now-canceled doubles match, although Nadal was likely to play if the title had been at stake. Nadal played in the decisive doubles on Friday and Saturday.

Voted the tournament’s best player, Nadal sealed the title with his 29th straight Davis Cup singles win, igniting the home crowd’s celebrations.

Tournament organizer 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 triumph.

Spain’s other Davis Cup titles were in 2000, ’04, ’08, ’09 and ’11.

The new Davis Cup Finals is the result of a 25-year partnership between the International Tennis Federation and the Kosmos group co-founded by Pique.

Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah Make History After Winning US Open Men’s Doubles Title

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah are making it a habit…

The 33-year-old Colombian professional tennis player and his 32-year-old compatriotdefeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 7-5 in the final on Friday to become the first Colombian men’s team to win the doubles title at the US Open.

Juan Sebastian Cabal & Robert Farah

Cabal and Farah were already the first men’s doubles pairing from Colombia to win a Grand Slam trophy and to be ranked No. 1 after they won Wimbledonthis year

They followed their Wimbledon championship with another strong run through the US Open and won their fifth doubles title of the season.

They became the sixth team to win Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year in the Open era.

Cabal and Farah celebrated Friday a year after they were knocked out in the semifinals by eventual champs Mike Bryan and Jack Sock.

Marc Lopez & Feliciano Lopez Win Their First-Ever Grand Slam Doubles Title at the French Open

The third time’s the charm for Marc López

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis player and his compatriot Feliciano Lopez won the French Open on Saturday for their first Grand Slam doubles title, denying Bob and Mike Bryan a 17th major trophy.

Marc Lopez & Felciano Lopez

It was Marc Lopez’s third Grand Slam final appearance, having finished runner-up at Roland Garros and at the US Open two years ago alongside Marcel Granollers. It was Feliciano Lopez’s first Grand Slam doubles final.

The duo became the first Spanish pair to win at Roland Garros in 26 years with a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 victory over their American rivals.

Marc Lopez & Felciano Lopez

The No. 15 seeds played together only once before at a major tournament and had to struggle to get to the final.

They saved six match points in their quarterfinal win over 2014 champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They went to three sets before downing defending champions Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the semifinals.

The Bryans, the most successful pairing of all time, were seeking a third title on the red clay following victories in 2003 and 2013.

“The tough thing about us is that if we don’t leave with the big trophy it’s devastating,” Bob Bryan said. “We have high standards, and sometimes that makes it not fun, because we can’t get any kind of enjoyment out of a final or semi like maybe some other players.

“You know, that’s the burden that we carry. We’re feeling that pain right now. We don’t take any solace out of leaving with the square plate.”

Feliciano Lopez sealed the Spaniards’ win with an ace, and both partners fell on their backs in jubilation.

“You can’t imagine what it means to win a Grand Slam for the first time, against the best players in the sport,” Feliciano Lopez said.

The fifth-seeded Bryans saved a match point in the tiebreaker before evening it 1-1 in sets, but their rivals returned better in the decider and converted two of three break points.

“Winning a Grand Slam is something amazing, and I didn’t have a Grand Slam victory on my résumé,” Marc Lopez said. “Roland Garros is my favorite tournament. It has been the case for quite a long time. When I was a kid, I was watching the matches of great champions, the Spanish champions.”

The previous Spanish doubles team to win the French Open was Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1990.

López Reaches First Grand Slam Final Ever in French Open Men’s Doubles

Feliciano López has reached his first Grand Slam final…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis player and his compatriot Marc López defeated defending champions Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 on Friday to reach their first French Open final as a team.

Marc Lopez & Feliciano Lopez

Dodig and Melo saved two match points serving at 4-5 in the deciding set, but succumbed two games later.

It will be Marc Lopez’s third Grand Slam final appearance, having finished runner-up at Roland Garros and at the US Open two years ago alongside Marcel Granollers.

Feliciano Lopez is into his first Grand Slam final since finishing runner-up at the 1998 Roland Garros junior doubles tournament.

Lopez/Lopez are aiming to become the first all-Spanish team to win the Roland Garros doubles title since Sergio Casal/Emilio Sanchez in 1990.

They saved six match points in their quarterfinal win over 2014 champions Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

The Spaniards will face Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who raced to the finish in a 7-5, 6-1 semifinal win against Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya.

Granollers Outlasts David Ferrer to Advance at the Japan Open

Marcel Granollers is starting his Japanese run with a bullet

The 28-year-ol Spanish tennis player fought back from a set down to defeat his compatriot David Ferrer, the tournament’s second seed, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Monday and advance to the second round of the Japan Open.

Marcel Granollers

Granollers converted four of nine break points at Ariake Coliseum and will next face Steve Johnson of the United States.

The early loss could dent Ferrer’s hopes of qualifying for the ATP finals in London in November. The top eight players qualify and Ferrer is currently ranked seventh.

“I lost my focus in the second set,” said Ferrer, who recently split with coach Jose Francisco Altur. “I have not been playing well recently and have got on a bad run of results.”

Giraldo Advances to the Third Round at Wimbledon

It may have taken two days and five sets, but Santiago Giraldo is still alive at Wimbledon.

The 26-year-old Colombian tennis player defeated Spain’s Marcel Granollers, the No. 30 seed, 4-6, 7-6, 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the second round on Friday.

Santiago Giraldo

The hard-fought match was played over two days due to weather delays at the All England Club, and Giraldo had to go deep into a fifth set to clinch the win and match his best showing at a Grand Slam tournament. He previously reached the third round at the 2012 French Open.

Giraldo, currently ranked No. 35 in the world, will next face a stiff challenge from former World No. 1 Roger Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam winner with seven Wimbledon titles.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash Federer holds a 1-0 head to head record against Giraldo, after a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win at the 2011 US Open.

Garcia-Lopez Defeats Marcel Granollers to Win This Year’s Grand Prix Hassan II Title

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez is back to his old winning ways…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player claimed his first title in nearly four years after rallying to defeat his compatriot Marcel Granollers  at the Grand Prix Hassan II on Sunday.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

After losing the first set, Garcia-Lopez stormed back to take the next two sets in the all-Spanish final on the clay court in Casablanca, Morocco. The final score: 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

Garcia-Lopez’s previous title was on indoor hard courts in Bangkok in 2010, and he’d lost his matched in the previous two finals in which he competed — last year on clay at Bucharest, Romania and on indoor hard courts at St. Petersburg, Russia.

Granollers, who was hoping to win his fifth career title, dropped his serve five times and was less consistent. He won only 60 percent of his first-serve points compared to 76 percent for Garcia-Lopez, who won their only previous meeting in the second round of the same tournament in 2010.

Garcia-Lopez continued the recent dominance of his countrymen at the tournament, becoming the fourth different Spaniard to win in the past six years after Tommy Robredo (2013), Pablo Andujar (2011 and 2012) and former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero (2009).

This is the third singles title of Garcia-Lopez’s career.

Bellucci Reaches Quarterfinals at the Brazil Open

Thomaz Bellucci is making a statement at his home tournament…

The 26-year-old Brazilian tennis player continued to feed off his home crowd Thursday, defeating Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Brazil Open.

Thomaz Bellucci

Bellucci, a wild card in the tournament, broke Haider-Maurer’s serve early in the third set and held on to close the match in 2 hours, 36 minutes at the Ibirapuera arena.

Bellucci, currently ranked 108th, will now play Martin Klizan of Slovakia, who upset third-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-4, 6-3.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina reached the quarterfinals with a marathon 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-5 victory over Albert Ramos of Spain in nearly three hours. He will face Paolo Lorenzi of Italy, who cruised past win Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4, 6-3.

Top-seeded Tommy Haas will play his quarterfinal match against 116th-ranked Horacio Zeballos of Argentina on Friday.

Bellucci Defeats Santiago Giraldo to Advance in the Brazil Open

He may be playing on a wild card at the Brazil Open… But Thomaz Bellucci is proving he’s worth the spot.

The 26-year-old Brazilian tennis player pulled off an upset win over Santiago Giraldo, defeating the Colombian – the tournament’s eight seed – 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the second round of the Brazil Open.

Thomaz Bellucci

The home-crowd favorite broke Giraldo’s serve to go up 4-2 in the final set, then held on to close out the match in just over two hours at the Ibirapuera arena. The break came right after Giraldo called for treatment on his lower back in between games.

Belluci, ranked No. 108 in the world, had six aces, including three in the decisive set.

“I couldn’t hold on to a 3-0 lead in the first set but I started playing better after that,” Bellucci said. “It makes a big difference to be playing at home with the support of the fans. They got behind me and I got to play more aggressively toward the end. It made a huge difference.”

Bellucci beat Giraldo in three sets last week at the Rio Open. He’ll next face Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer in the second round.

But Belluci isn’t the only Latino playing well in the tournament…

Earlier Tuesday, Brazilian qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva defeated sixth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 in 2 hours, 17 minutes. Albert Montanes of Spain beat Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-2, 6-2, while Federico Delbonis of Argentina defeated Filippo Volandri of Italy 6-1, 6-2.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal is not playing at the clay-court tournament this year. He won the Rio Open last week.

Second-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain will play Delbonis, while third-seeded Marcel Granollers plays Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

Argentina’s Juan Monaco, who had a bye in the first round along with the other top seeds, debuts against countrymen Guido Pella.

Marrero & Verdasco Take Down the Bryan Brothers to Clinch ATP World Tour Finals Doubles Title

The first time’s the charm for David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco

Following their unexpected win in the semifinals at their first-ever ATP World Tour Finals, the Spanish tenistas upset the top-seeded Bryan brothers to win the doubles title at the O2 Arena.

David Marrero & Fernando VerdascoDavid Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

The sixth seeds had never even qualified for the year-end tournament before and had lost all three of their previous matches against the world No 1 partnership. But they triumphed in a stellar match 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 10-7.

They saved four set points in the first set, Verdasco recovering from 0-40 down at 4-5, and the left-hander, still one of the most dangerous customers on the singles circuit, was the key man in a gripping contest.

David Marrero & Fernando Verdasco

In the next game, Mike Bryan double faulted at 15/30 to gift two break point opportunities to Marrero and Verdasco. He saved the first with a fine backhand crosscourt winner, but Verdasco clinched the game when his stinging forehand was too much for Bob Bryan, who could only volley long.

And the Spaniards clinched the next game to win the first set.

Verdasco’s forehand, one of the most devastating and feared shots on the men’s tour, got the Spaniards out of trouble time and time again. But the American twins – who had won the title three times before – hit back to level it up by winning the second set on the tiebreak.

There was just one mini-break in the deciding Champions tiebreak and it was set up by another sensational Verdasco forehand down-the-line winner.

On match point Bob Bryan could only chip a Verdasco serve long and the sixth seeds could celebrate becoming the third all-Spanish pair to win the title after Juan Gisbert and Manuel Orantes in 1975 and last year’s champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez.

The Bryans finished No 1 for a fifth straight year and a record ninth time overall. They have won 11 titles this season, including the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.