Monday, December 5, 2011

So come to conquer the fifth Salad

The road to glory is never easy. Not in a competition as peculiar as the Davis Cup. Spain has had to overcome two obstacles on the road (Belgium, United States) and two at home (France, Argentina) in order to conquer what is already its fifth bowl.

First stop: Belgium (1-4). Spain Davis Cup debut in 2011 visiting the Spiroudome Charleroi Stadium. For it did not happen as in previous years, the RFET paid out of pocket 'Hawkeye' take them out to avoid possible errors revenue to the human eye. Although Albert Costa was with his quartet 'headline', David Ferrer was unable to play after suffering a pinched neck. It was Fernando Verdasco who opened fire at Xavier Malisse, who won with authority in three sets (6-4, 6-3, 6-1). Rafa Nadal met forecasts with Ruben Bemelmans (6-2, 6-4, 6-2) and doubles formed by Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez put the finishing touch to break the tie Steve Darcis and Olivier Rochus (7-6, 6-4, 6-3). With nothing at stake, the first round ended with victory over Olivier Rochus Nadal (6-4, 6-2) and Steve Darcis on Feliciano Lopez (6-7, 7-6, 7-6).

Second stop: United States (1-4) . Spain had never won a Davis Cup tie on U.S. soil, but what the locals thought it would be a party at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin became a nightmare. Albert Costa supplied the absence of Rafael Nadal with the entry of Marcel Granollers and motivated to achieve their own macho. Feliciano Lopez started surprising Mardy Fish (6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6) and David Ferrer did the same to Andy Roddick (7-6, 7-5, 6-3) . Bryan kept the local hopes to be imposed on Fernando Verdasco and Marcel Granollers (6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4), but David Ferrer put the finishing touch to the tie by beating Mardy Fish (7-5 , 7-6, 5-7, 7-6).

Third stop: France (4-1). There were a lot like 'vendetta' to the neighbors after removal of the previous year in Clermont-Ferrand. This time Spain chose the bullring Plaza de Toros of the caliphs and his quartet measured gala for the French. Rafa Nadal opened the tie with a resounding victory over Richard Gasquet (6-3, 6-0, 6-1), seconded by David Ferrer and Gilles Simon to win (6-1, 6-4, 6-1). The only lunar 'Armada' was formed by double Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, who signed the worst results in history in the competition after falling fast track to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Michael Llodra (6-1, 6 -2, 6-0). On Sunday, Rafael Nadal was able to put the finishing touch to the semifinals after beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6-0, 6-2, 6-4) and Fernando Verdasco started closing his victory over Richard Gasquet (6-2, 6 - 1).

Fourth and last stop: Argentina (3-1). The Olympic Stadium of La Cartuja again host a Davis Cup final seven years later and the result could not be more positive. Rafael Nadal opened fire with his victory over Juan Monaco (6-1, 6-1, 6-2) and David Ferrer directed the final half left to defeat Juan Martin del Potro (6-2, 6-7, 3-6 , 6-4, 6-3). The double Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez lost to David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank (6-4, 6-2, 6-3). This Sunday was Rafael Nadal who has put the finishing touch to the final by winning Juan Martin del Potro and give Spain the fifth Salad in its history.


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