|Nadal shows what victory means to him after sealing decisive point for Spain in the Davis Cup [AFP]|
Rafael Nadal mounted a thrilling comeback back from a set down to beat Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro 1-6 6-4 6-1 7-6 and clinch Spain’s fifth Davis Cup tennis title on Sunday.
The world number two, who demolished Juan Monaco in Friday’s opening singles rubber on the clay at Seville’s Olympic Stadium, gave Spain an unassailable 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie as the favourites secured their third triumph in four years.
“We gave everything, it was a very emotional victory at the end of a tough year,” Nadal said in an interview with Spanish television.
“Winning in this way, we are very grateful to all the people of Spain,” he said.
“It was the best atmosphere I have experienced in my career.”
Undefeated in 16
The lanky Del Potro, who lost a five-set battle with David Ferrer in Friday’s singles, thrilled the raucous away supporters with a fearsome display of power hitting to take the first set but lost his way after Nadal levelled at one-all.
The 10-times grand slam champion, undefeated in 16 Davis Cup singles matches on clay, found his range and began spraying crunching winners on both sides of the court with his customary ease.
“Today is one of the most emotional days of my career”
Del Potro clung on in a nail-biting fourth set and forced a tiebreak when he broke for the eighth time in the match with the Spaniard serving for the title.
Nadal had a near-perfect tiebreak, taking it 7-0, and sealed victory with a trademark forehand winner down the line before embracing his opponent at the net as his Spanish team mates danced on the court nearby.
“Today is one of the most emotional days of my career,” said Nadal, who won the title for the third time of his career.
“After such a difficult year, this was a spectacular finale to the season. To win a final this way is very special.”
Last ten Davis Cup finals:
2011: Spain bt Argentina 3-1
2010: Serbia bt France 3-2
2009: Spain bt Czech Republic 5-0
2008: Spain bt Argentina 3-1
2007: USA bt Russia 4-1
2006: Russia bt Argentina 3-2
2005: Croatia bt Slovakia 3-2
2004: Spain bt USA 3-2
2003: Australia bt Spain 3-1
2002: Russia bt France 3-2