Rafael Nadal, 17, was one of the players to watch in early 2004, picking up where he left off the previous season and reaching the first ATP final in Auckland. Rafa also scored two Australian Open victories, followed by a remarkable Davis Cup debut with the decisive victory over Radek Stepanek on an indoor carpet court.
In Miami, the young man defeated no. 1, Roger Federer, to get the best momentum before the spring clay tour that he had to skip after an ankle injury in Estoril, returned three months later in July and won the first ATP crown in Sopot in August.
Nadal was unable to play the Netherlands in the Davis Cup, but returned for the semi-final match against France, defeating Arnaud Clement in straight sets and getting a chance to play the United States in Seville in the December final.
Rafael Nadal won the Davis Cup title for Spain in 2004.
In front of the crowd of 25,000, the young Spaniard stepped onto the pitch in place of Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second confrontation.
He became the youngest player to win in the Davis Cup final after beating No. 2 Andy Roddick, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-2 in three hours and 38 minutes to go. a remarkable victory and the second point for his country.
Bob and Mike Bryan kept the United States in contention after their doubles triumph over Juan Carlos Ferrero and Tommy Robredo before Carlos Moyá beat Andy Roddick 6-2, 7-6, 7-6 to seal the deal for Spain and deliver the second Davis Cup trophy in four years.
After the victory, Nadal was delighted with the way he and his teammates performed, calling it the most significant title of his career and praising his colleagues who gave their best in front of the partisan crowd in Seville.
“I’m excited about the victory, it was historic. Carlos Moyá didn’t have to ask me how to beat Andy Roddick; he already played against him three times and also saw my game. Carlos is a great champion and he beat him alone.
It was my first Davis Cup season, and I am happy to go all the way and win the title. I feel lucky to be a part of this beautiful team. We have had difficult moments during the season and we managed to overcome them.
I like to play these types of events and have enjoyed every minute of it; for me, this is the most significant trophy of my career so far, “said Rafael Nadal.