Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Reign of Spain

Comes every four years. 2000, 2004, 2008. Fernando Verdasco shut up his critics and clinched the Davis Cup for Spain with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 triumph over last-minute substitute José Acasuso.

But the day belonged to Verdasco and Spain. "It's the most exciting victory of my life," Verdasco said after the match. "Playing for my country, against the best players, it's a dream."


Without an injured Rafael Nadal and a disinterested Tommy Robredo, Spain was considered the underdog to win its third Davis Cup title. But David Nalbandian, the team's best player, lost his nerve serving for a two-set-to-one lead in the third-set tiebreak of the doubles rubber yesterday, and it was downhill from there.

Oh, yeah. The two Spanish lefties with the big serves and small minds grew huge gonads.

Acasuso, who tried once more to be the hero for Argentina as he tried two years ago in Russia, had to pinch hit for Juan Martín del Potro whose weary body finally succumbed to his long and eventful season. I can't even remember the last time Acasuso played a competitive match. Which showed deep in the fourth set when his body started to betray him.

Emilio Sánchez, most valuable player, took a risk by choosing Verdasco to play his first-ever live decisive rubber in David Ferrer's place. Verdasco, alongside Feliciano López, won the doubles. Sanchez hit pay dirt in singles.

While Acasuso labored, Verdasco held himself together and struck a forehand winner down the line to seal the deal. Jumped by his teammates.

Argentina's unbeaten record of 13 wins on home soil has come to an end.

To fans of Spanish tennis, raise a glass of sangria in celebration.


tristann said...

First off, I like the new look of you blog, Craig.

As to this weekend's final, what can I say? I am thrilled that Spain was able to pull it off. I only had a glimmer of hope that they would do it.

I feel for the Argentine team. They were so close, maybe too close to winning it and it slipped away. By what I am reading, the post-mortem isn't pretty, but hopefully some lessons will come out of it.