MAR DEL PLATA // Spain's Davis Cup final win over Argentina gave a chance to the lesser-known players to emerge from Rafael Nadal's shadow and enjoy a moment in the spotlight, their captain Emilio Sanchez Vicario said. Spain pulled off a shock 3-1 win away to Argentina, ending the South American team's 10-year unbeaten home run thanks to singles wins from Fernando Verdasco, ranked 16th in the world, and Feliciano Lopez, ranked 31st.
The two also paired up for victory in the doubles. World No 1 Nadal missed the tie, which ended on Sunday with Verdasco beating Jose Acasuso in five sets, because of injury. "I think Rafael Nadal has given us great possibilities and brought triumphs for the team, against Germany and America and it's thanks to his wins that we are here," Sanchez Vicario said. "But the players who are here deserve the repercussions. They have brought the team forward so they deserve all the headlines and the praise."
A delighted Nadal said: "It isn't possible for me to be any happier. It's impressive what they have achieved, winning in Argentina where they have not been defeated for a long time, and in a difficult atmosphere, although it wasn't as bad as we had expected. "Emilio has been great. He knew how to create this team spirit among all the players. I am just one more player in the squad and he has proved that.
"I was nervous watching from home but really enjoyed it. But now is the time to talk about the four who actually achieved the victory over there." Sanchez Vicario went on to confirm that he would not be staying on. "I will not be there [next year]," he said. "I started three years ago and I have come to the end of the cycle. I hope the next man can share the magical moments I have enjoyed." Sanchez Vicario said that Verdasco, who trailed two sets to one at one stage, bounced back after taking his mind off the crowd.
Verdasco had replaced David Ferrer, who was easily beaten by David Nalbandian in Friday's singles matches. "When I told him he wasn't going to play he gave motivation to Fernando and supported us all the way. "It was a triumph for both David and the team," added Sanchez Vicario. * Reuters