Spain Prime Minister honors Davis Cup team
Spain's prime minister honored the Davis Cup-winning team in a ceremony at his official residence on Monday.
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero praised Rafael Nadal and his teammates for successfully defending the title after completing a 5-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the final on Sunday.
The country's overall sporting success has coincided with a period of dominance in tennis, Zapatero said.
``We have a generation of athletes that is without doubt the best in the history of Spain,'' Zapatero said. ``You know how to win with humility and elegance, you know how to play and fight during the tough moments and you have shown us how it's done.''
Nadal opened the best-of-five series on indoor clay with a victory over Tomas Berdych. On Sunday, he defeated Jan Hajek to help Spain close out its win. His teammates included Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer.
The second-ranked Nadal, a four-time French Open champion, was singled out by Zapatero for special praise.
``You are a magnificent symbol and ambassador,'' Zapatero said. ``Someone who shows us how things should be done, how to be a great sportsman and person.''
Spain has won four Davis Cup finals, 20 consecutive best-of-five series on clay and 18 straight series at home going back to 1999.