How can you not have a soft spot in your heart for Rafael Nadal? The following is what he posted on his Facebook account after the Davis Cup victory:
"Please allow me to be very happy for this win. I know most of you are not Spanish but this is the win of my team and I am very happy for the win. I know I have also a lot of Czech fans and I respect very much the fact that in any case you support me and obviously your country. Thanks a lot also to all the fans from any part of the World for your support also!"
How can you not love him? Isn't that just one of the most adorable things you've ever heard?
We are very lucky to be watching tennis in an era when we have guys like Nadal on the court. Federer is, of course, the game's ultimate statesman, but I do love Rafa's quirky, broken English, the genuineness of his sentiment. He loves the game. He respects his opponents. And his humility. I don't know if there's anyone in the game today quite as humble as Rafa.
The Spanish team managed a clean sweep, with Rafa beating Hajek (ironically, Hajek is the only guy to have ever beaten Rafa in Davis Cup - I doubt Rafa construed it as revenge, but I would) and Ferrer beating Dlouhy. Stepanek and Berdych sat this one right - rightly too, because I bet they're both buggered. Stepanek especially - he fought like a crazy person this weekend. I don't think it's unfair to say that Berdych never really showed up.
This marks the end of 'real' tennis for the year, though I reckon I can a few more blog posts out of it over the next few days before I have to think of something else to talk about. I'm glad Spain won, however. I'm glad David Ferrer got his moment and I'm glad that Rafa found his mojo again, even at the last minute. And I'm certainly always to see all the huggy man-love that goes on with the Spanish team!
Davis Cup Final
Spain 5, Czech Republic 0
Rafael Nadal def. Jan Hajek, 6-3 6-4
David Ferrer def. Lukas Dlouhy, 6-4 6-2
3 weeks ago