Rafael Nadal recovered from a terrible start and beat Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 7-6 (0) Sunday to give Spain its fifth Davis Cup title on a day Nadal called "one of the most emotional" of his career.

Nadal endured his most lopsided set defeat in the competition as Del Potro fired forehand winners at will, with the Spaniard failing to hold his first four serves to trail 1-0, 40-0 by the second game of the second set.

But Del Potro started misfiring and Nadal found his rhythm to break back before finally holding serve.

Nadal caught Del Potro out with one of 35 winners to take the second set and cruise through the third set on course for the win. Del Potro staged a late comeback attempt by breaking Nadal four times in the fourth set to send it to a tiebreaker, where Nadal raced ahead without losing a point before securing victory with a forehand winner.

Spain's players swarmed their teammate after he had dropped to the ground in celebration, while Del Potro exited the clay surface in tears for the second time in three days after losing Friday's singles to David Ferrer.

"Today is one of the most emotional days of my career," said Nadal, a 10-time major champion who won the title for the third time of his career. "After such a difficult year, this was a spectacular finale to the season. To win a final this way is very special."

Nadal stretched his record on clay to 16-0 as Spain won its third title in four years.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.