Bautista Agut made a surprise return to the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ after his father passed away earlier in the week, but after the 31-year-old received a spine-tingling ovation as he stepped on the court to take on Canadian no. 2 Felix Auger Aliassime, the Spaniard secured a 7-6 6-3 victory to give Spain a 1-0 lead.
“I want to give everyone my thanks for the so many shows of care and respect following the loss of my father,” Bautista Agut tweeted ahead of his return to play on Sunday.
“I feel very loved and supported by my teammates, friends, family and fans. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Bautista Agut pumped his fist to the sky before leaping into the stands to embrace teammates following the win.
“It was an amazing feeling on the court today,” he said. “I was trying to do everything. I had the opportunity to play today because all the team and all the players and the rest of the team did an unbelievable effort since the first day.”
Of course, Rafael Nadal still played his part as the world No. 1 overcame Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 to give Spain an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Nadal, who has had a tremendous 2019 — having already won the French and US Opens — embraced his teammate Bautista Agut after clinching victory for Spain.
“An amazing week, a lot of things we went through. The father of Roberto passed away … a lot of things happened,” Nadal said following the win.
“I could not be happier. It has been an unforgettable moment here, in this amazing stadium … our team spirit prevails,” Nadal continued.
Bautista Agut and Nadal proved pivotal on Sunday and in Spain’s success this year.
Spain captain Sergi Brugera described Nadal as “out of this world” but paid special tribute to Bautista Agut.
“When you have this moment it is difficult to describe with words — so many feelings, so many emotions you have never felt,” Brugera told Leakblast.com.
“Unbelievable. Imagine Roberto yesterday was in the funeral of his father, now he is here giving everything — the mentality, the spirit, giving everything for his team.”
The Davis Cup began in 1900 as a competition between USA and Great Britain. But it has since expanded to become the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport, with 133 nations entering in 2019.
This year it culminated into an 18-team competition, with a round-robin group stage followed by knockout rounds to decide the champion.
And 2019 was Spain’s year. Since its first victory in 2000, it has now won the contest six times.