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Moya wins Davis Cup for Spain
Ossian Shine | December 06, 2004 10:02 IST
A majestic Carlos Moya tamed world number two Andy Roddick 6-2, 7-6, 7-6 at Seville on Sunday to clinch the Davis Cup for Spain.
The popular Mallorcan erased the heartache of missing Spain's maiden triumph in 2000 by bringing the American to his knees in front of more than 27,000 frenzied fans in Seville's Olympic Stadium.
"It is a moment I have been waiting for many years," Moya said, tears glistening in his eyes. "An incredible way to win the Cup.
"The Davis Cup is my dream. I don't believe there is anything bigger than what I've lived through today," the former world number one added.
Roddick, caked in red clay, hurled himself all over the specially-constructed court throughout the contest but was simply unable to fend off his tormentor.
"Bottom line is they were just better than us this weekend," Roddick said, refusing to blame a groin strain he suffered in the second set for his defeat.
"You can say whatever you want, but they came out, they took care of business. They beat us. It's as simple as that."
Moya's victory -- a first over Roddick after three defeats -- gave Spain an unassailable 3-1 lead over the United States.
Moya beat Mardy Fish and Roddick fell to Rafael Nadal on the opening day before Bob and Mike Bryan won Saturday's doubles.
Fish later made it 3-2 with a 7-6, 6-2 victory over Tommy Robredo in the dead rubber.
Moya's victory over Roddick made his fellow Mallorcan Nadal the youngest player to win the Davis Cup.
Aged 18 years and 185 days, Nadal beat the record set by Australia's Pat Cash in 1983 by 30 days.
Former French Open champion Moya got off to a great start on Sunday, streaking into a 4-0 lead before Roddick registered on the scoreboard.
With Spanish trumpeters tooting in the crowd and against a sea of red and yellow flags, the world number five teased and tormented the rampaging Roddick with an array of spins and angles.
Moya wrapped up the opening set in just 36 minutes as US coach Patrick McEnroe squirmed in his courtside seat.
The second was closer, the players exchanging breaks of serve early on before matching each other blow for blow into the tiebreak.
At 6-6, Moya pulled away, unfurling one groundstroke after another past the lunging Roddick and wrapping it up 7-1.
Roddick trudged back to his seat as the fiesta began with fans singing and dancing in the stands. It was a little premature but it was a long way back for Roddick.
He stuck to his guns, hammering serves at the Spanish baseliner but Moya stood firm.
Play was briefly held up at 4-4 in the third set when notorious Spanish self-publicist Jimmy Jump ran on to the court and tried to place a hat on Moya's head.
It was only a brief respite for Roddick as the third set also extended to a tiebreak.
Once again, Moya's nerve proved the stronger and he clinched a famous victory when Roddick netted a return after two hours and 29 minutes.
As Moya fell to the ground, Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his new bride Letizia leapt to their feet and the stadium erupted.
The Spaniard's team mates sprinted to embrace him before showering the player in cava and setting off on a lap of honour.
"Carlos was waiting a long time for this moment and he played a magnificent game," Spain's coach Jordi Arrese said, tears welling in his eyes.
"This situation was perfect for Charly... he was concentrating so well -- in a bubble of concentration.
"He had been waiting years to be in this position. He played a fantastic game... it was his match."