Rafael Nadal beat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in a thrilling match to secure the Davis Cup for Spain
World number two Nadal lost six games in a row in the first set but came back superbly to win a high-class encounter 1-6 6-4 6-1 7-6 in Seville.
The victory was his 16th successive win in Davis Cup singles on clay and gave the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead.
However Nadal said his busy schedule, which includes the Olympics, meant he would not play Davis Cup in 2012.
His success secured Spain’s fifth Davis Cup title and their third in four years, while Argentina have yet to win it.
“Today is one of the most emotional days of my career,” said Nadal, 25, after winning the title for the third time.
“After such a difficult year, this was a spectacular finale to the season. To win a final this way is very special.
“We are very grateful to all the people of Spain. It was the best atmosphere I have experienced in my career.
“Next year I will not play. Next year is a very complex year. It’s an Olympic year. I have been, for many years, one of the players that plays the highest number of games in a year, and I don’t want to over play.
“So next year, since it’s an Olympic year, my participation in the Davis Cup is impossible.”
A strangely out-of-sorts Nadal broke Del Potro in the first game but his opponent battled his way back into the match and dominated the Spaniard’s serve to take the opening set to the delight of the Argentine fans in the 28,000 Olympic Stadium.
However, Nadal’s indomitable spirit helped him halt Del Potro’s run and he took the second set with a typically aggressive display that was greeted by a huge roar from the home supporters.
The 10-time Grand Slam winner took the third set in commanding style and the result looked to be a formality with Del Potro, who lost a near five-hour epic to David Ferrer on the opening day, seemingly tiring.
LAST 10 DAVIS CUP WINNERS
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2011: Spain bt Argentina 3-1
2010: Serbia bt France 3-2
2009: Spain bt Czech Rep 5-0
2008: Spain bt Argentina 3-1
2007: USA bt Russia 4-1
2006: Russia bt Argentina 3-2
2005: Croatia bt Slovakia 3-2
2004: Spain bt USA 3-2
2003: Australia bt Spain 3-1
2002: Russia bt France 3-2