After Fernando Verdasco’s inaugural win over Alexandr Dolgopolov, Rafael Nadal took on Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky at the Davis Cup World Group Playoffs contested between Spain and Ukraine. After serving up a double bagel, Rafa ended the third set with a 6-4, winning the rubber easily.
Spanish captain Alex Corretja about Rafael Nadal: “I think he’s from a different planet. This is almost impossible what he’s done today, coming from a different surface and time schedule. He spends the whole summer in the States and he came here and won nil and nil in the first two sets. I think only very special people can do that and Rafa is one of them.”
Rafael Nadal: “It’s always a surprise winning 60 60 against a good player like Stakhovsky. I think I started well. I was a lucky with a few balls, that made the difference in the score. In the end, the third set was close. It was tough, Sergiy started to play aggressive and there was a few tough moments in the third but I am happy with the way I finished the game. I made the break in the right moment.”
Spain can now clinch victory with a win in the doubles, for which Corretja confirmed that Nadal will replace Tommy Robredo and play alongside Marc Lopez.
Corretja said: “We spoke a couple of days ago and he [Nadal] felt that if he was feeling good after his singles, he said that he would be able to play and we feel that Marc and Rafa are the best pair we can put out and that’s what we’re going to do. We know it’s a difficult decision because we leave Tommy on the bench and he’s been practising really well and working very hard.”
Source: Davis Cup
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