Emo­tional Davis Cup ti­tle win for Spain

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT -

SPAIN’S tal­is­man Rafael Nadal has sealed Davis Cup glory for the hosts in the in­au­gu­ral edi­tion of the re­vamped event.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, Roberto Bautista Agut recorded an emo­tional vic­tory just three days af­ter the death of his fa­ther.

Af­ter a week of re­lent­less ten­sion and late-night hero­ics at La Caja Mag­ica it was per­haps ask­ing too much for the first fi­nal in the Davis Cup’s new guise to de­liver a clas­sic.

So it proved as Spain ac­counted for first-time fi­nal­ists Canada to be the last na­tion stand­ing of the 18 that as­sem­bled in Madrid.

With Spain’s King Felipe watch­ing on, the 33-year-old Nadal fought off Cana­dian young­ster De­nis Shapo­valov 6-3 7-6 (9-7) to give his coun­try a first Davis Cup ti­tle since 2011 - and sixth in to­tal.

If any player de­served to get his hands on the fa­mous old tro­phy again it was world No. 1 Nadal af­ter he worked over­time all week, of­ten into the small hours, to win all eight matches he played.

But he surely would have been happy had it been team­mate Bautista Agut to have de­liv­ered the win­ning point.

The world No.9 had given the hosts a fly­ing start in the fi­nal, beat­ing teenager Felix Auger-Alias­sime 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 af­ter re­turn­ing to the squad fol­low­ing the death of his fa­ther.

“An amaz­ing week in ev­ery way,” said Nadal, who has now won 29 suc­ces­sive Davis Cup sin­gles matches since 2004.

Pic­tures: AFP

ELA­TION: Spain play­ers, from left, Mar­cel Gra­nollers, Feli­ciano Lopez, Pablo Car­reno, Roberto Bautista Agut, Rafael Nadal and cap­tain Sergi Bruguera cel­e­brate with the tro­phy af­ter win­ning the fi­nal ten­nis match be­tween Canada and Spain at the Davis Cup Fi­nals in Madrid.

PUMPED: Rafael Nadal.

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