Rafael Nadal reflects on a memorable early encounter by saying, “It came against..”

At home in Mallorca, Rafael Nadal made his ATP debut twenty years ago. In Sopot in 2004, Rafa won his first ATP championship. He has remained competitive ever since and is currently regarded as one of the finest players in the world. The 22-time Major champion began playing important matches in 2003 and 2004, paving his way to the top and quickly taking home the first Major title.

Nadal cited his memorable triumph over the world’s No. 2 in the 2004 Davis Cup final in front of the home crowd in Seville when talking about his early years. With the help of the young gun Nadal and a partisan audience of 25,000, Spain won the second Davis Cup championship four years after the first.

Before Juan Carlos Ferrero, who had been injured, was replaced on the court by an 18-year-old, Carlos Moya gave Spain the lead with a convincing victory over Mardy Fish. Nadal defeated Roddick in his fourth Davis Cup singles match that year, winning 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-2 in just under three hours and forty minutes.

Rafa led Spain to a 2-0 victory at the end of the first day, and he then began a wild celebration with his teammates. Roddick did it his all to keep up with the inexperienced opponent, winning the first set in a tie break and advancing to the third.

Rafa won it, propelled by the supportive crowd, to take an early lead of two sets to one, and he clinched the deal with a superb fourth-set display.

At the age of 18, Rafael Nadal upset Andy Roddick, the world No. 2, in the Davis Cup final.

“I’ll never forget my victory over Roddick in the 2004 Davis Cup final, which was one of the moments that defined my career.

I believe I won because the crowd was there to support me; it was vital. People remember my performance for the youthfulness and how fresh it was, but Carlos Moya, who delivered us two points, was the real architect of the triumph.

It was a rough year for me, and I’m happy with how I played. I had some significant matches in every stage of my career, and this is one of them, especially after that injury. I played at a very high level and deserved the victory after working hard on the practice court.

I’m pleased with how I returned Andy’s serves, especially in the crucial points of the tie breaks. After the match, I didn’t think about Roddick or McEnroe or anything; all I wanted to do was rejoice with my friends “said Rafael Nadal.