Rafael Nadal has sealed title success for hosts Spain in the inaugural edition of the revamped Davis Cup at La Caja Magica after Roberto Bautista Agut recorded an emotional victory just three days after the death of his father.
Fittingly it was Spain's talisman, world No.1 Nadal, who beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 (9-7) to give Spain a sixth Davis Cup title with a win over first-time finalists Canada on Sunday.
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Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in the first singles match.
The celebration was especially emotional for world No.9 Bautista Agut, who sent Spain on their way to victory after returning to the team following the death of his father on Thursday.
He pointed his finger to the sky after winning the final point. His father's health deteriorated after an illness that stemmed from a 2016 accident.
Nadal. ‘There is no perfect ending for Roberto this week after what happened. The rest is secondary. But it means a lot that he is back with the team.’— José Morgado (@josemorgado) November 24, 2019
Bruguera still didn’t talk with Roberto about the possibility of playing the final.
Such a gutsy performance from Roberto Bautista Agut, who 3 days after leaving the Spanish team because of the death of his father, returns to win the 1st match of the final. 7-6 (3) 6-3 over young Felix Auger-Aliassime. Points a finger skyward after match point.— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) November 24, 2019
"Can you imagine? Yesterday, Roberto [Bautista Agut] was in the funeral of his father and now he’s giving everything... I have no idea how to describe this with words." - Spain captain Sergi Bruguera.— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) November 24, 2019
What a scene here in Madrid. Roberto Bautista Agut, three days after losing his father, weeping in the post-match interview to the crowd. His Spanish teammates, Pablo Carreño Busta and Feliciano Lopez, in tears.— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) November 24, 2019
The parochial Spanish crowd that packed the La Caja Magica's centre court erupted when Nadal converted his third match point against Shapovalov to bring to end a drama-filled week of tennis.
The top-ranked Nadal capped off a gruelling finals campaign by winning all of his eight matches at the 18-nation competition that debuted a World Cup-style format.
Playing for the fourth successive day, the 33-year-old was surely tired and it began to show as Shapovalov fought to keep Canada alive in their first Davis Cup final.
Nadal saved a set point in the second-set tiebreak before claiming his 29th successive Davis Cup singles win.
Tournament organiser and Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique, his wife Shakira - who performed in the closing ceremony - and Spanish King Felipe VI were among those celebrating Spain's first Davis Cup title since 2011.