Rafael Nadal made his ATP debut two decades ago at home in Mallorca. Rafa won his first ATP title in Sopot 2004, has been a contender ever since and is still among the best players in the world. The 22-time major winner played his first major matches in 2003 and 2004, charting his way to the top and winning his first major crown soon after.
Talking about his early years, Nadal was ranked world no. 2 from the 2004 Davis Cup final in Seville in front of the home fans. Four years after the first, Spain won their second Davis Cup title in front of a crowd of 25,000, with young gun Nadal performing at a very high level.
Carlos Moya put Spain in front with a great win over Mardi Fish before the 18-year-old left the court instead of injured Juan Carlos Ferrero. In his fourth Davis Cup singles match that year, Nadal defeated Roddick 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-2 in less than three hours and 40 minutes.
So after the first day, Rafa beat Spain 2-0 and started a big party with his teammates. Roddick did his best to match his young opponent, taking the opening set of the match and reaching another in the third.
Rafa, who was carried by a partisan crowd, claimed a two sets to one advantage and sealed the deal with a strong performance in the fourth.
Rafael Nadal is world no. 2 Andy Roddick in the Davis Cup final at 18
“The match against Roddick in the 2004 Davis Cup final is one of the highlights of my life and I will never forget it.
People remember the focus and the work I did when I was young, but the real architect of the victory was Carlos Moya, who brought us two points. I think I won because the people supported me; It was important.
I’ve had some notable matches at every stage of my career, and this is one of them, especially after that injury. I played at a very high level and after working hard on the practice court I deserved the victory. It’s been a tough year for me, and I’m really happy with how I performed.
Andy service 230 km/h; I’m happy with how I answered them, especially in the most crucial moments with equal breaks. I didn’t remember Roddick or McEnron or anything after the match; “I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates,” Rafael Nadal said.