"Rafa, he is out of this world, I don't know if he is an alien or what..." Spain's Davis Cup Captain Sergi Bruguera laughingly said after Nadal's exceptional participation. All the ingredients were present for Nadal to do well.
All he had to do was blend in his talents with teammates and create a masterpiece. He did just that. The new Davis Cup format is grueling but Rafa sucked it up and won all 8 of his matches: 5 singles and 3 doubles in a six-day span.
Six must have also been the lucky number because winning Davis Cup made it the 6th title for Spain. The Davis Cup for the Spaniards were in their home turf. At times this could be a double-edged sword as there are so many expectations put on the home town players that either one could get stressed and nervous having bad results or get overly supportive vibes and win.
It was obvious that the latter had happened. Rafa even said that "And playing at home is something difficult to describe..." They had their players who were at their best to come out and take the win over Canada who was playing their maiden Davis Cup event.
Nadal gave all kudos to his grieving teammate, Roberto Bautista Agut who won the first singles match just three days after his father's death. The second singles match Rafa was up against Canada's Denis Shapovalov who is 13 years younger than Nadal, but the Spaniard didn't look at the years but experience on the court.
He literally gave lessons out there that players close to Nadal's age wouldn't attempt. It was his doubles partner, Feliciano Lopez who can't believe the performance Nadal put in and said: "There are things that only people like Rafa can do and if you ask my opinion I think he's a superhero."
There's so much comparison between the top 3 ATP players but Nadal has stood out as unique and really shouldn't be compared to Djokovic, Federer, and Dominic Thiem. This 2019 season Rafa had won two grand slams: The French Open and U.S.
Open as well as 2 Masters 1000 series and reached the semifinals at over 5 events. Despite withdrawals and retirements the Spaniard still remains at the top of the huddle doing extraordinary things in only his way. He used to be called 'The King of Clay' but surely after his Davis Cup stint the tennis community may have stopped at just saying 'The King'
"I put into this whole event all the energy that I had inside me," he shook his head being serious. He is truly overjoyed that he came through for his teammates, the fans, tennis community but especially himself. He sums up his feelings saying "I could not be happier...we can't thank the crowd enough. Our team spirit prevails."