x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Verdasco beats Acasuso to give Spain Davis Cup victory

Fernando Verdasco beats Jose Acasuso in five sets to give Spain an unassailable 3-1 lead over Argentina to win the Davis Cup.

Fernando Verdasco celebrates a point against Jose Acasuso as Spain clinch the Davis Cup.
Fernando Verdasco celebrates a point against Jose Acasuso as Spain clinch the Davis Cup.

MAR DEL PLATA // Spain have won the Davis Cup for the third time after Fernando Verdasco beat Jose Acasuso in five sets to give them an unassailable 3-1 lead over Argentina in the final. Verdasco won 6-3 6-7 4-6 6-3 6-1 as Spain, missing the world number one Rafael Nadal through injury, still managed to hand Argentina their third defeat in three final appearances and their first home loss for 10 years.

"It's a dream. I've wanted this chance since I was a boy, few get it and even fewer take it," said an elated Verdasco. Verdasco, ranked 16th in the world, was brought in as a replacement for the off-form David Ferrer who was crushed in straight sets by David Nalbandian on Friday. Acasuso, ranked 48th, was thrown into the fray after Argentina's number one Juan Martin del Potro was ruled out with a pulled muscle in his right leg which he suffered in Friday's defeat to Feliciano Lopez.

Verdasco won the first set after breaking in the fifth game as Acasuso struggled to find his rhythm. The Argentine came to life in the second set, which he won in a tie-break after both players dropped service twice. Playing some excellent tennis and backed by a passionate crowd, Acasuso took the third set and looked as if he could take the tie to a decisive rubber involving Nalbandian which would have left the hosts as favourites.

But Acasuso lost his nerve after Verdasco broke in the sixth game of the fourth set to level the match. Acasuso then looked tired and demoralised and the Spaniard strolled through the final set to shatter the hopes of the home crowd. Although Acasuso saved two match points, Verdasco finished off the match at the third attempt with a rasping forehand down the line. "In the Davis Cup, you have to fight to the death and you always have to keep your hope of winning. This mental strength helped me win the match," Verdasco added. *Reuters