Argentina bagged their maiden Davis Cup crown as Juan Martin del Potro and Federico Delbonis won Sunday's reverse singles for a 3-2 verdict over hosts Croatia in the final in Zagreb after having finished second best in four previous final appearances.
Down by two sets to Marin Cilic, del Potro rallied back strongly to win 6-7(4), 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-3. In the decisive rubber, Delbonis swept aside Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
It capped an amazing year for 28-year-old del Petro who returned from four wrist injuries to win the Olympic silver and now the Davis Cup.
"This was an emotionally exhausting match and one of the biggest wins of my career. Thanks to all those who prevented me from retiring, I was very close to never playing again and, well, here I am,” del Potro said.
A 1500-strong group of
“What del Potro did was amazing. He represents his country with so much pride and he also showed how good a player he is,” Argentina’s Davis Cup coach Daniel Orsanic said.
“His achievement today borders on the impossible, while Federico played a perfect match and was on top of every ball throughout the contest.”
Delbonis, who defeated Karlovic, said: “The team captain elected me to play the final rubber but anyone on this team is always ready to step up.”