News24

Nadal leads Spain to Cup title

2011-12-04 18:31

Seville - Spain won their fifth Davis Cup title after Rafael Nadal recovered from a terrible start, holding on to beat Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (7/0) on Sunday to give the hosts an insurmountable 3-1 lead.

Nadal endured his most lopsided set defeat in the competition as Del Potro fired forehand winners at will, with the Spaniard failing to hold his first four serves to trail 1-0, 40-0 by the second game of the second set.

But Del Potro started misfiring and Nadal found his rhythm to break back before finally holding serve.

Nadal caught Del Potro out with one of 35 winners to take the second set and cruise through the third set on course for the win. But a late fightback by Del Potro saw the Argentine break Nadal four times in the fourth set to send it to a tie-breaker, where Nadal raced ahead without losing a point before securing victory with a forehand winner.

Spain's players swarmed their team-mate after he had dropped to the ground in celebration, while Del Potro exited the clay surface in tears for the second time in three days after losing Friday's singles to David Ferrer.

"Today is one of the most emotional days of my career," said Nadal, a 10-time major champion 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."

Nadal stretched his record on clay to 16-0 as Spain won their third title in four years.

AP