Spain won the 2019 Davis Cup in Madrid, Spain on Sunday. While performing in their home country of Madrid in a new format for the first time, Spain defeated Canada thanks to two singles victories for Roberto Bautista Agut and the great Rafael Nadal.
In the final, Bautista Agut defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6, 6-3 in the first rubber, and then Rafael Nadal beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 in the second rubber. Due to the fact Spain won both singles matches, the doubles match did not need to be played.
The victory for Bautista Agut came under the most remarkable of circumstances. That is because Bautista Agut participated even though his father died of an illness during the week.
This was the first time 18 nations participated in the Davis Cup over a span of a week, all at one location. Previously, nations participated in four separate weekends over the calendar year.
Also this week, matches were best of three, instead of the traditional best of five. This move tended to bring better, high quality tennis throughout the week.
If there was one negative to the change in format, it is the fact that multiple countries do not have the opportunity to participate in front of their home crowds on a regular basis. This tends to reduce the Davis Cup atmosphere except when the home nation participates.
It was a great week for Spain overall. They defeated Russia and Croatia in Group B action, Argentina in the quarterfinals and Great Britain in the semifinals.
Nadal was sensational. He won all five of his singles matches without dropping a set and three doubles matches (two with Marcel Granollers and one with Feliciano Lopez).
This was Spain’s sixth Davis Cup victory. They had previously won in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011. The top four nations from the 2019 Davis Cup (Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia) automatically qualify for the 2020 Davis Cup in Madrid.