Perfect end of the season
Nadal, crowned the ‘MVP’ in Madrid, courtesy of his five singles and three doubles wins, signed off 2019 in style. The ‘King of Clay’ was particularly impressive on the major stage, with a final appearance at the Australian Open and semi-final showing at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard was captivating on the terre battue once again to retain his Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland-Garros, whilst lifting the US Open was significant too, enabling him to finish as the year-end No.1 for an astonishing fifth time.
“After a very, very long and tough week for me physically and mentally, too, because the energy that I tried to put into every single moment of the whole event has been all that I have inside me,” declared the 19-time Grand Slam champion. “Honestly, it's the perfect end of the season for all of us.”
"Out of this planet"
World No.9 Roberto Bautista Agut, competing just three days after his father’s death, sent the hosts ahead with an inspiring 7-6(3), 6-3 scoreboard facing Next Gen star Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Nadal then stepped up to clinch an unassailable lead for Spain, with a pulsating 6-3, 7-6(7) passage past Denis Shapovalov, before falling to the court in complete exhaustion.
“We knew that we needed to convert this opportunity, and we fought very hard. What Roberto did today is out of this planet, in my opinion,” stated Nadal.
“But our team is great. I don't see a lot of teams that all five players took part in the competition. Everybody played a match at least, and that makes this competition even more special because everybody in our team participated in the victory.”