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Nadal Clinches Davis Cup Title For Spain With Win Against Shapovalov

  • Posted: Nov 24, 2019

Nadal Clinches Davis Cup Title For Spain With Win Against Shapovalov

Bautista Agut defeats Auger-Aliassime in tie’s first rubber

Rafael Nadal, the year-end World No. 1, finished his season on a high by leading Spain to its sixth Davis Cup title. Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6(7) to clinch Spain’s 2-0 win against Canada.

“It has been an amazing week,” Nadal said on court after his win. “I could not be happier, honestly. It has been an unforgettable moment here in this amazing stadium. The crowd was just a joke, we can’t thank all of them enough. Our team spirit prevailed. We fought hard.”

Nadal, who is now a four-time Davis Cup titlist, won all eight of his matches this week in Madrid, including five singles victories in which he did not drop a set.

Nadal took a 2-1 lead in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Shapovalov, who defeated him two years ago in Montreal. But the Canadian brought his best, pushing Nadal until the end.

The 20-year-old showed no fear of the moment, trading blows with the Spaniard from the baseline. Nadal earned two championship points for Spain at 6/4 in the tie-break, but Shapovalov guessed correctly as the Spaniard crushed a short ball from right in front of the net, allowing the Canadian to lace a laser-like forehand pass down the line. On the next point, Shapovalov hit a winner off of a forehand approach shot to even the score.

The Stockholm champion earned a set point of his own that would have sent the rubber to a decider, but Nadal saved it with a forehand winner, and the Spaniard converted his third match point when Shapovalov hit a forehand down the line into the net. Nadal immediately fell to the court in celebration as his teammates swarmed him.

Earlier in the day, World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut put Nadal in position to clinch the trophy with a 7-6(3), 6-3 win against Felix Auger-Aliassime, who had not played a match during the event.

The win had extra meaning for Bautista Agut, whose father passed away earlier in the week.

“It was a very special feeling on the court today,” Bautista Agut said according to “I just tried my best on the court and I’m very happy I could win today.”

Spain had most recently competed in the final of the Davis Cup in 2012, when the country fell to the Czech Republic. Canada was seeking its first Davis Cup trophy.

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Emotional Bautista Agut puts Spain ahead in Davis Cup final

  • Posted: Nov 24, 2019

Roberto Bautista Agut put Spain 1-0 ahead in their Davis Cup final against Canada with an emotional victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime in Madrid.

Bautista Agut, making a surprise return to the team following the death of his father on Thursday, beat the 19-year-old 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

He was in tears after the win while addressing the jubilant crowd.

Spain will seal victory if world number one Rafael Nadal beats Denis Shapovalov in the second singles rubber.

Canada are in their first final, while Spain are chasing a sixth title.

The final is a best-of-three tie, where a doubles rubber would decide the outcome if the teams are level after the two singles matches.

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Bautista Agut puts aside grief to deliver for Spain

Bautista Agut rushed home on Thursday after his father was taken ill and the Spanish federation later announced the player’s dad had died.

But the world number nine returned to Madrid to watch his team-mates beat Great Britain in the semi-finals on Saturday before being recalled for the final.

The 31-year-old, whose mother died last year, pointed to the sky after claiming victory when Auger-Aliassime went wide on the first of three match points.

“It was very special feeling on the court and I just could go out and try my best, give my best,” he told Eurosport.

“I am very happy I could win the first point for Spain.”

Auger-Aliassime was playing his first match at the revamped tournament this week after an ankle injury, with Canada reaching the title-decider by using just the same two players in all of their singles and doubles matches – Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil.

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GB should be excited for future after reaching Davis Cup semi-final – Smith

  • Posted: Nov 24, 2019
2019 Davis Cup finals
Venue: Caja Magica, Madrid Dates: 18-24 November
Coverage:Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra from Wednesday, 20 November; Live text coverage on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Captain Leon Smith says Great Britain can be excited about their chances of future success in the Davis Cup despite a heartbreaking semi-final defeat by a Rafael Nadal-inspired Spain in Madrid.

Doubles pair Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski lost the deciding rubber to Nadal and Feliciano Lopez in a 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (10-8) defeat.

It clinched a 2-1 win for hosts Spain, who play Canada in Sunday’s final.

“I look forward to a really positive 2020,” Smith said.

  • Great Britain miss out on final after losing decisive doubles to Spain
  • GB’s semi-final defeat as it happened

Britain’s five-man team of Andy Murray, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Skupski reached the last four of the inaugural season-ending finals, which are the brainchild of Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, to ensure an automatic spot in next year’s event.

Edmund, 24, was the star player for Britain, winning all three of his singles rubbers in straight sets, despite a disappointing ATP season where he has slipped to 69th in the world.

Andy Murray, 32, missed the last three matches after struggling for fitness during a sluggish three-set win over world number 179 Tallon Griekspoor in the opening victory over the Netherlands.

Evans, who won one of his four singles matches, is ranked as the British number one, while Jamie Murray and Skupski are continuing to improve as regular doubles partner.

Smith also pointed to Cameron Norrie and doubles player Joe Salisbury – Britain’s sole representative at the recent ATP Finals – to illustrate the depth at his disposal.

“Everyone’s got their different journey to go on, but I think we should be excited by what we have in British tennis,” said Smith, whose side also beat Kazakhstan and Germany.

“We’ve got so many different things going. I think it’s great, it’s positive.

“Hopefully everyone can just keep on that path and we come back here next year with an even stronger team than the strong team we have already got.”

Jamie Murray and Skupski, who had an impressive week on his Davis Cup debut, could not convert any of four second-set points against world singles number one Nadal, 32, and 38-year-old Lopez in Saturday’s semi-final.

The Spanish pair, roared on by a boisterous home crowd in the Caja Magica, swung the momentum back in their favour and converted a second match point to leave the British contingent devastated.

“The emotion is still raw,” Smith told BBC Sport.

“You’re within a couple of points of going into a deciding third set and then it’s game on. There was nothing in it. I’m proud of all of them.

“We’re hurting, but we’ve seen an amazing tie here against Spain, who are arguably the strongest team in the competition, especially with Rafa in it.

“We’ve pushed them within a couple of points to a deciding set to see who goes into the final.

“To reach semi-finals is a brilliant achievement, we have come through tough matches and tough moments.

“Everyone has stepped up and we’ll look back proudly on this.”

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