Both the Davis Cup and a commemorative t-shirt signed by all the players on the Spanish team can now be seen at the facility in the Rafa Nadal Sports Centre


Nobody has lifted the famous salad bowl more times in the twenty-first century than the Spanish team. A total of eleven countries have won the Davis Cup since the year 2000, but the Spanish side has earned itself a special place in the winners’ circle largely thanks to the contributions of the world number one, Rafael Nadal, who has played on five winning teams (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019).


His latest triumph came last Sunday in the Caja Mágica, the first time the new competition format was used. Nadal was back in the Davis Cup one year after his last appearance in Valencia against Germany (ESP v. GER 3-2). This time Nadal’s presence proved vital. He gave his all to win every point he played in singles (5), as well as the three doubles matches he competed in (3). Eight points in total of the 11 that Spain needed to win their sixth salad bowl.


Nadal has maintained his excellence in the international team competition for a long time. The Manacor native has only lost one singles match in the 30 he has faced in the Davis Cup. And that was the first one he played, when he was 17 years old. It was against the Czech Republic’s Jiri Novak in the first round, in a tie in which he would eventually deliver the decisive fifth point against Radek Stepanek.


Imagen: https://images.neobookings.com/cms/rafanadalacademy.com/section/the-davis-cup-arrives-at-the-rafa-nadal-museum-xperience/pics/the-davis-cup-arrives-at-the-rafa-nadal-museum-xperience-g4lr4vzw98.jpeg

This result means that Nadal has now won 29 consecutive Davis Cup matches in the singles. And it is a similar story in the doubles. To find his last defeat there we have to go back to 2005 when he lost a pairs match against the Italian duo of Daniele Bracciali and Giorgio Galimberti alongside Feliciano López (6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 9-7).


This season in Madrid, the Spaniard once again demonstrated his competitive dominance. In the singles he beat Khachanov (RUS), Gojo (CRO), Schwartzman (ARG), Evans (GBR) and Shapovalov (CAN), while in the doubles he saw off Dodig/Pavic (CRO) with Marcel Granollers, González/Mayer (ARG) also with Granollers and Murray/Skupski (GBR) with Feliciano López.


The result gives him his fifth title in the competition, well ahead of the following countries with the most trophies since 2000: France (2001, 2017), Croatia (2005, 2018) and the Czech Republic (2012, 2013) with two crowns each. For their part, Russia (2002), Australia (2003), the USA (2007), Serbia (2010), Switzerland (2014), GB (2015) and Argentina (2016) have each won it once, giving real perspective to the Mallorcan’s achievement.


And it is a tangible feat for anyone who wants to make the trip to the Rafa Nadal Museum, which now houses a trophy that all the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar players have already had the chance to see.


Apart from being Nadal’s fifth Davis Cup, it also represents a magic number; it is the 100th title he has lifted in his career. To the 84 singles trophies he has earned, and the 11 in doubles, he can now add five Davis Cups. This century of wins puts him in the select company of John McEnroe (160), Mike Bryan (128), Jimmy Connors (126), Bob Bryan (126), Roger Federer (112), Ilie Nastase (107), Stan Smith (102) and Ivan Lendl (101).


It is true that Nadal shares 5 Davis Cup titles with Feliciano López and there are two other Spaniards who have won more matches than him in the competition: Manolo Santana (69) and Manuel Orantes (39). But nobody in the Open Era has won more Salad Bowls. To find players with more trophies to their name you have to go all the way back to the days of black and white, with Roy Emerson (8), Fraser (7), Johnson (7), Smith (7), Tilden (7), Norris Williams (7), Borotra (6) and Cochet (6). It is yet another example of the extraordinary legend Nadal is building himself, in both individual and team events.


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