The King of Clay and Golden Child of Spain, Rafael Nadal has clawed his way back after a dismal first set to beat Juan Martin del Potro 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 and hand Spain the Davis Cup final. Having missed the 2008 final due to injury, also against Argentina, Nadal was delighted to play such a pivotal role in claiming the huge Cup.
It didn’t look good for Rafa early on with Delpo striking the ball beautifully and bullying Nadal around the court as rumours swirled that Nadal had received a pain reducing injection to his knees that morning.
Juan Martin was endlessly powerful in the first set, showing no signs of fatigue after his almost five hour match with David Ferrer two days earlier. The lanky Argentine smacked forehand winners seemingly at will, easily wrong footing the Spaniard as the Spanish crowd went wild.
After Nadal steadied the ship in the second set, team mate Verdasco screaming on the sidelines, he secured an early break, going on to win the set, celebrating as if he’d won the match.
The King of Clay seemingly had shaken off the nerves and realised that he’s one of the best players of all time and pushed himself into a new gear as he accelerated towards the finish line, both players producing some phenomenal tennis.
In a classy touch Nadal comforted an emotional Juan Martin as the Argentinians again left a David Cup final without the trophy. Juan Martin was visibly distraught at the loss, comforted by his team as he sobbed on the sideline.
Nadal has only lost one singles rubber in Davis Cup and has never been beaten in a Davis Cup match on clay.
“Today is one of the most emotional days of my career. After such a difficult year, this was a spectacular finale to the season. To win a final this way is very special.”
Nadal will apparently skip the Davis Cup next year, instead he will focus on reclaiming his Olympic glory from 2008.