Spain win Madrid Davis Cup with Nadal and Bautista Agut

Spain win Madrid Davis Cup with Nadal and Bautista Agut

Spain win Madrid Davis Cup with Nadal and Bautista Agut

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning their Davis Cup semifinal doubles match with his partner Feliciano Lopez against Great Britain's Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski in Madrid. Milos Raonic was out injured, and Felix Auger-Aliassime was with the team but also injured.

Bautista's emotional victory left Shapovalov facing mission impossible against 19-time grand slam champion Nadal, but the stylish left-hander threatened to put the Spanish fiesta on hold in a combative second set as the zip went out of Nadal's legs.

The pair of Vasek Pospisil and Denis Shapovalov beat Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev in a tie-break as Canada reached the final for the first time.

Kyle Edmund gave Britain the lead with a 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over Lopez in the first singles, then Nadal evened the semifinal by cruising past Daniel Evans 6-4, 6-0 for his 28th straight Davis Cup singles victory.

Canada first appeared in a Davis Cup in 1913.

Denis fended off five out of six break chances, losing ground on the second serve but making Nadal run for his money nearly all the time.

On current form Vasek Pospisil should beat Lopez, and Carreno Busta, but Bautista Agut's potential call-up could negate the need for the doubles match if he can take an early lead for Spain.

A stunning passing shot from Nadal nearly forced a break of serve at 4-4, but the 20-year-old responded with impressive composure to hold, and the set moved inexorably to the breaker.

Fittingly it was Spain's talisman Rafael Nadal who sealed the triumph, beating 20-year-old Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 (7) to rack up his eighth victory in eight matches during a gruelling week.

Nadal saved that one with a nerveless forehand victor down the line but there was more trouble for Spain in the tiebreak.

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 victor from Nadal who converted the third match point at 8-7 to deliver the sixth Davis Cup trophy for his country.

It's been a phenomenal year for Canadian tennis and the Davis Cup loss shouldn't temper expectations for a country that is trending toward becoming a genuine power.

Ahead of the final, Nadal explained just how hard it has been this week for the Spain team.

For Shapovalov it was an especially sweet moment as the Davis Cup has not always been kind to him.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Auger-Aliassime looked rusty, with his forehand breaking down far too often and double faults peppering his service games.

They defeated Italy and the United States in the group stage before dispatching Australia in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Shapovalov opted for more variety with a brilliant touch volley and then a deft drop-shot making things increasingly uncomfortable for Nadal, who came under pressure when serving to stay in the set both at 5-4 and 6-5.

Canada guaranteed its spot in the Davis Cup Finals tournament in 2020 by reaching the semi-finals this year.

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