ITFWorld Autumn 2013

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CLASS DAVIS CUP BY BNP PARIBAS If anyone was in any doubt as to what Davis Cup by BNP Paribas means to the players, then they simply had to take notice of Rafael Nadal's dedication to his country's cause. WORLD by Stuart Fraser L ess than four days after Rafael Nadal had won his 13th Grand Slam title on a hard court in New York, the 27-year-old was on a clay court in Madrid determined to ensure that Spain retained its place in the World Group for the 18th successive year. Nadal's ability to adjust after a long six weeks on tour in North America was astonishing. But astonishing us is what he so often does. He was the overwhelming favourite for his match against Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky but not even the Spaniard himself could have predicted the manner in which he would win, not dropping a game in the first two sets for the first time in 769 career singles matches. It prompted Spanish captain Alex Corretja to proclaim: "He must be from a different planet." He had a point. Nadal returned the following day to team up with friend Marc Lopez for the doubles and clinch victory for Spain, before Lopez and Fernando Verdasco completed the 5-0 rout with victories in the dead rubbers. Kei Nishikori helped Japan defeat Colombia 20 ITFWORLD AUTUMN 2013 Rafael Nadal and Marc Lopez secure Spain's World Group place Andy Murray scored the winning point for Great Britain

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