Davis Cup, Group I Relegation Play-off
by MAC

This week, Rafa travelled to Odense in Denmark to play with the Spanish Davis Cup team in their Group 1 relegation match. It was the first time he'd played a Davis Cup tie away from home since the first round of the World Group in Belgium at the beginning of 2011.

Rafa played the first rubber against Mikael Torpegaard, a 21-year old who is ranked 909 in singles. As ever, that ranking would not have been my guess judging by what I saw of his play on a dodgy live stream. Rafa did win in straight sets, though,  6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
This expression implies that Rafa might also have been a little surprised by the level of play of his opponent.

With Ferrer winning the second singles match, Spain went into Day 2 just needing one more point to win the tie. Team Captain Conchita Martinez decided that Rafa would team up with Fernando Verdasco to play the doubles rubber. Although they did concede one set, they defeated the team of Thomas Kromann and Frederik Nielsen, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4.

I think this picture dispels any doubts about how happy Rafa is to play Davis Cup.

Spain are now safe in Group 1 and next July will start their campaign to rejoin the World Group.

Siempre contigo, Rafa