Rafael Nadal again became the fort of the Spanish team, and combined with Feliciano Lopez in the double defeated Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski, 7-6 (3) and 7-6 (8) to defeat Britain by 2 -1, and the Spanish team will fight against Canada this Sunday to try to win the Davis Cup for the sixth time.
Nadal remains unbeaten in the Magic Box. The new format and the results have forced him to play three times the decisive double and he has been successful in all. In total he has won seven games, four singles without giving up a set, and three doubles leaving a single sleeve in the race to the final.
Manacor has already won 28 consecutive individual victories in this competition in which he has not lost since his debut against Czech Jiri Novak in 2004. In doubles his record is 8-4. His performance tonight, first against Daniel Evans (6-4 and 6-0) and then against Murray and Skupski in two hours and 16 minutes, encumban him.
The double point was risky. Murray and Skupski have played 13 tournaments together this year winning the Budapest ATP. His understanding was beyond doubt. Meanwhile, it was the second time Nadal played with ‘Feli’ in Davis since 2005.
On that occasion they fell in Torre del Greco (Italy) before the Galimberti and Bracciali premises: 4-6 6-4 6-2 4-6 9-7. Spain despite everything, won the tie and did not leave the World Group.
With 1-0 against, after the victory of Kyle Edmund against Feliciano Lopez, surprisingly called by Bruguera to replace Pablo Carreno (contracture on one leg) when he had already given the name of the Gijon, by 6-4 and 7-6 (3) in 83 minutes, Nadal resolved the ballot again.
The Manacor shattered the attack game and Daniel Evans physicist in 84 minutes
As happened on Friday against Argentina, Nadal jumped to the track with 1-0 against. He did it against Evans, a level tennis player to whom a positive for cocaine in April 2017 kept him 12 months without playing, and now occupies the 42nd position in the world.
Evans, with a continuous attack game and an elegant one-handed setback, kept Nadal at bay. The break did not come and that of Birmingham, which Rafael beat this year in the Montreal Masters 1,000, in the only confrontation between the two (7-6 (6) and 6-4), knew how to move with agility and control with his service .
But Nadal’s bottom game and his serve also responded. And the world number one pressed at the right time, the tenth game of the first set to break and win the sleeve 6-4 in 52 minutes.
Evans, while trying to disrupt the concentration of the Spaniard with continuous protests, something that Bruguera made observe the chair judge to take action.
With Andy Murray cheering only on the bench of Captain Leon Smith, Evans tried to keep the same pace, having the network as a reference. On the other side, Roberto Bautista, who had already joined the team after the death of his father, stood up encouraging Nadal, along with the other components of the Spanish team.
The long points were emotionally and physically destroying Evans, always showing the clenched fist after each play won. A Nadal cross rest destabilized the Briton who lowered his head when the break was consumed (2-0) in the second set. From there, Evans was diluted and exhausted, while Rafael hammered him with his serve (nine ‘aces’) and right.
The danger came now for the Spanish team by the hand of 32-year-old veteran Jamie Murray, former number one of this modality in April 2016, which with two Grand Slam titles in his record: Australian Open and US Open in 2016, and the mixed Wimbledon (2007 and 2017) and US Open (2017-18-19), 23 in his career total, made anyone tremble.
In a duel between three left-handers, Nadal, Feliciano and Jamie, equality remained until the tenth game where Nadal saved two breaking points, when Feliciano left him “sold” when crossing the net. The Manacor neutralized them later with his serve and the tiebreaker was reached.
In that game Feliciano was great winning two of his three serves and right with his right, and Rafael seconded him with his power on the net. The Spaniards did not yield the lead and with three steals they made the first set in 64 minutes.