Lawn Tennis, Madrid, Lawn Tennis Magazine
No Nadal, No Problem; Spain Wins The Davis Cup

By Burton Vanderfliet, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2008 3:40pm PST USA
No Nadal, No Problem; Spain Defeats Argentina To Win The Davis Cup Final, Lawn Tennis Magazine MAL DEL PLATA--( Last week after world number one Rafael Nadal of Spain withdrew from this weekend's Spain versus Argentina Davis Cup final, Argentina quickly rose to be the favorite to take the win in their home country, but Spain triumphed no matter.

Following an almost dream ATP Tour season in which Nadal would rise from number two to number one in the

Spain wins the Davis Cup | Photo by Getty Images
Davis Cup by BNP Paribas
World Group Final
Argentina vs Spain, Lawn Tennis Magazine
“It’s the most exciting victory of my life,” Verdasco said. “Playing for my country, against the best players, it’s a dream.”

ATP Tour world rankings, Nadal cited a reoccurring knee injury for his absence from the final round of Davis Cup play which was contested indoors at Mal del Plata, Argentina.

This year, Nadal took singles titles at the French Open and Wimbledon plus won a singles gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Nadal has never lost a match at the French Open; taking the title the last four years to remain a sterling 28-0 in Paris.

But after winning the Olympics, a long and harsh ATP Tour season set in on Nadal as he would fail to reach the final of any following tournament. Nadal would lose in the semifinals of the US Open to Andy Murray of Britain.

Argentina selected a fast indoor surface to contest the Davis Cup final in part to gain an advantage over the slower surface preferring Spanish team. In early singles matches the two nations split wins as David Nalbandian of Argentina defeated David Ferrer of Spain 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 while Feliciano Lopez of Spain surprised Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-4), 6-3.

Then in doubles Spain pulled ahead to a 2-1 lead in the best of five matches tie as Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco of Spain defeated David Nalbandian and Agustin Calleri of Argentina 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(7-5), 6-3.

Today in the final day of play, Argentina lost it's final chance to stay alive as Jose Acasuso lost a must win match to Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in a five set thriller. The victory gave Spain an insurmountable 3-1 lead.

“It’s the most exciting victory of my life,” Verdasco said. “Playing for my country, against the best players, it’s a dream.”

“I was prepared for the match, but Verdasco played very well in the fourth and fifth sets,” Acasuso said. “He started serving better and deserves a lot of credit for this win.”

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