Barcelona, 25 November 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Spain beat Canada to win their sixth Davis Cup at Madrid’s Caja Magica on Sunday, with Roberto Bautista beating Felix Auger-Alliassime 7-6, 6-3, and Rafa Nadal beating Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6.
Nadal was in tears as he sealed the victory, later dedicating the success to teammate Bautista, whose father died during the week’s competition.
Bautista won the first set of his match in 54 minutes against Auger-Alliassime 7-6 (7-3).
He then took a 3-0 lead in the second set, and although Auger-Alliassime fought back, Bautista took the second set 6-3 to give Spain a 1-0 lead.
That paved the way for Nadal, who has not lost a Davis Cup singles match since 2004, to win Spain’s first Davis Cup since 2012.
He took the first set in just 34 minutes 6-3 but Shapovalov fought back in the second set.
Nadal held his serve against a break-point at 3-3. He then double-faulted at 4-4 to risk losing his serve again.
Once more he held, but a determined Shapovalov did not buckle to go 5-4 ahead and Nadal had to serve to save the set.
He did so, but Shapovalov took a 6-5 lead and Nadal held serve to force the tie-break.
Nadal forced a championship point at 6-4 in tie-break but Shapovalov saved it. Moments later he forced another and this time the Canadian was finally defeated.
“It’s been an amazing week,” Nadal said. “Lots of things happened but Roberto has been the key for us. What he did was super-human.
“He had to leave the team. His father died. He came back and trained and then he won today. The supporters were incredible and we thank Madrid and Spain for this.”
Spain’s win was extra special for Bautista, who had pulled out of the squad on Thursday after receiving news his father Ximo Bautista’s health had deteriorated.
The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) confirmed with “enormous sadness” that the player’s father had died on Thursday.
“It has been very tough, all the team are with him and we will give him the most support possible,” Spain’s captain Sergi Bruguera said.
They welcomed him back on Saturday and he took his place in Sunday’s final. “I’m very happy for the victory he said after beating Auger-Alliassime.
“I couldn’t have played the game without all the effort that my teammates have put in this week.
“I thought after such a difficult week I had to show my face and take a step forward and that’s what I have done.”