Monday, November 24, 2008

Spain (Sans Nadal) Defeat Argentina to Win Davis Cup

Spain has a new hero and his name is Fernando Verdasco!!! The world number 16 captured the winning point for the Spaniards on Sunday when he defeated Argentina's Jose Acasuso 6-3,6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, to give his squad an unassailable 3-1 lead over Argentina, and clinch a third Davis Cup title for Spain.

The Argentines did all they possibly could to win the Cup. They fussed about the surface ahead of the tie and picked an indoor fast court instead of clay, hoping it would neutralize Rafael Nadal's threat. After some arguing for weeks about the venue, Nadal ended up withdrawing from the final because of a knee injury and the surface choice suddenly became questionable, especially with someone like Feliciano Lopez on the opposing side, who has a strong serve and plays well on fast turfs.

Still, Argentina were confident because they had an incredible winning streak at home in Davis Cup ties, and on paper, had a stronger and higher-ranked team.

Argentina however, did not count on Del Potro's far from perfect performance in the second rubber against Lopez, and they didn't expect to lose the doubles tie either. And on day 3, when Del Potro failed to recover from a thigh strain, Alberto Mancini elected to play Acasuso against Verdasco, who has had a far better season than his Argentine opponent.

The crowd, who were supposed to play a pivotal role in the tie, ended up just being plain annoying for the umpires. In fact Verdasco said after the doubles rubber that he was actually more motivated by the cheering than being bothered by it.

Spain's bench proved to be the main factor behind this incredible victory. The team had harmony and the players refused to lose momentum despite their Nadal blow.

“When Ferrer found out he was not playing, he took it well," said Spain captain Emilio Sanchez. "He immediately offered his support to Fernando which helped him come out on court."

When Verdasco sealed the deal for Spain he said:

"I have to remember Rafael Nadal because we played the Davis Cup final thanks to him. This is one of the happiest days in my life."

"It's a dream. I've wanted this chance since I was a boy, few get it and even fewer take it."

"I tried my best all year to win the Davis Cup and I am happy for everyone in Spain."

Come to think of it, this year has definitely been kind to the Spaniards. Rafael Nadal became the most successful Spanish tennis player in history when he won Roland Garros followed by Wimbledon, to increase his Grand Slam tally to 5 slams. He then rose to the summit of the tennis world rankings on August 18th after chasing that spot for the past 3 years. The Spanish football team ended a horrible run in European championships and won the Euro 2008 during the summer. Even the Tour de France this year was won by Spain's very own Carlos Sastre. All this was topped with a third Davis Cup triumph for the Spaniards...

Congratz to all the Spanish people out there... Viva Espana!!


van said...

Hey Reem, how are you? It was definitely an impressive feat Spain pulled off. It was set up for Argentina to succeed, but they just couldn't pull it off. But all congrats to Spain!

Reem said...

Hey Van.. am great.. how are you?!?!
Yeah they did a great job...
And the Argentines totally blew it.. I agree with you about the whole surface thing... bad choice!! And it seems like a lot of drama is going on within the Argentine squad. It's tough to beat a team like Spain.. with a spirit like that don't you think?!?!