Having finished the season as the World No. 1, Rafael Nadal carried that form into the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid to secure a win over World No. 17 Karen Khachanov and guide Spain to a 2-1 victory over Russia.
Spain did not have the best of starts in their Group B face-off with Russia as Moscow Open champion Andrey Rublev showed tremendous resilience to come back from a set down and upset the ninth-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(0). Spain's hopes then fully rested on Nadal's shoulders and the 19-time Grand Slam champion did not disappoint his adoring home fans.
Even a hectic outing at the recently-concluded ATP Finals in London could not douse the firepower of the Spaniard. Displaying his trademark fighting skills, the planet's best player delivered a 6-3, 7-6(7) masterclass against the former Paris Masters champion to level the tie en route to achieving his 25th consecutive win in the Davis Cup.
After the southpaw brought them back into contention, Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers completed the victory for Spain by beating Rublev and Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(5).
Canada made history on Day 2 of the Davis Cup Finals when they prevailed over USA for the first time in 16 attempts. While Vasek Pospisil edged Reilly Opelka 7-6(5), 7-6(7), Denis Shapovalov trounced Taylor Fritz 7-6(6), 6-3.
This was their second win in Group F following their defeat of Italy a day earlier. The twin wins enabled Canada to become the first team to secure a quarter-final spot.
In the other ties, France overcame Japan 2-1 in Group A. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga hardly broke sweat in his 6-2, 6-1 victory over Yasutaka Uchiyama but Japan rebounded through Yoshihito Nishioka, who beat Gael Monfils 7-5, 6-2. France then sealed the tie when the ATP Finals winners Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut narrowly edged Japan's Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5.
Kazakhstan also achieved the same scoreline against Netherlands in Group E. Robin Haase put Netherlands in front with his 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5) defeat of Alexander Bublik but the Kazakh team roared back when Mikhail Kukushkin pummelled Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-2, 6-2. They carried the momentum into the doubles rubber when Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin paired up for a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory over Robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer.
Argentina and Australia demolished Chile and Colombia 3-0 respectively. In the Group C face-off, Argentina's Guido Pella beat Chile's Nicolas Jarry 6-4, 6-3 while Diego Schwartzman brushed aside Cristian Garin 6-2, 6-2. In doubles, Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer earned a 6-3, 7-5 win over Nicolas Jarry and Hans Podlipnik-Castillo.
Nick Kyrgios and Alex de Minaur both starred for Australia in their Group D encounter with Colombia. Kyrgios breezed past Alejandro Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4 and De Minaur made short work of Daniel Elahi Galan 6-4, 6-3.
The Aussie duo of John Peers and Jordan Thompson had a harder time on court though. They had to save four match points to complete a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6) upset win over the World No. 1 pair of Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in Davis Cup Finals.Published 20 Nov 2019, 16:13 IST