Davis Cup Finals: Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut earn title for Spain



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Davis Cup Finals: Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut earn title for Spain

Spain entered this week as the top favorite to claim the Davis Cup Finals title in front of the home fans at Caja Magica and they didn't disappoint, beating Canada 2-0 for the sixth Davis Cup title and the first since 2011.

In the first rubber, Roberto Bautista Agut defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 50 minutes for the eighth and one of the most significant Davis Cup triumphs, just a couple of days after his father died. It was the first match for Felix since Shanghai, stepping on the court instead of Vasek Pospisil and not being able to match the rival's pace after making too many errors that plagued his chances for a better result.

The Canadian struggled to find the first serve, losing too many points after missing it and suffering two breaks from five opportunities offered to the Spaniard. On the other hand, Bautista Agut played well behind both the first and second serve, repelling three out of four break chances and sealing the deal in straight sets to push Spain 1-0 in front.

Nothing could separate them in the first set, with 11 commanding holds and one loose service game for Roberto when he had to play against a break point following a forehand down the line winner from the youngster. Bautista Agut saved it and held after three deuces and a backhand mistake from the Canadian to level the score at 4-4.

The returners took one point in the next four games to set up a tie break that Bautista Agut grabbed 7-3 after a forehand error from Felix, gathering momentum ahead of set number two and giving the home crowd something to cheer about.

Roberto broke in the second game of the second set before Auger-Aliassime broke back in game five with a brave forehand that kept him in contention. The more experienced player stayed focused to earn a break at love a few minutes later, moving 4-2 ahead and holding at love at 5-3 to seal the deal and put Spain in front.

In the second match, world no. 1 Rafael Nadal toppled Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 55 minutes to start a massive celebration with his teammates in front of friends and family. Just like during the entire week, Nadal didn't lose serve and mounted the pressure on the opponent who fought bravely in set number two where he had a set point in the tie break.

Denis fended off five out of six break chances, losing ground on the second serve but making Nadal run for his money almost all the time. Rafa barely lost a point on serve in the first set and broke Denis in game six after a forehand error from the Canadian.

Serving for the set at 5-3, Nadal fired three service winners to claim the opener, having to work much harder in set number two as Shapovalov raised his level to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard. The Canadian produced some fine shotmaking at 4-6 in the tie break, saving two match points and creating a set point at 7-6, denied by a forehand winner from Nadal who converted the third match point at 8-7 to deliver the sixth Davis Cup trophy for his country.