Mark Philippoussis defied a shoulder injury in a stunning five-set victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero to clinch the Davis Cup for Australia.
AUSTRALIA 3-1 SPAIN
Friday 28 November
Hewitt bt Ferrero
3-6 6-3 3-6 7-6 6-2
Moya bt Philippoussis
6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6
Saturday 29 November
Arthurs/Woodbridge bt Corretja/Lopez
6-3 6-1 6-3
Sunday 30 November
Philippoussis v Ferrero
7-5 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-0
The Australian number one took a lengthy time out in the fourth set and recovered to win 7-5 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-0 in front of a partisan Melbourne crowd.
Philipoussis' win gave Australia an unassailable 3-1 lead in the final.
"At the end I was completely numb. It felt like I wasn't playing, I was sort of watching from the side," he said.
"I didn't know what was going on. Thank God those shots were going in."
The result meant the defunct singles rubber between Lleyton Hewitt and Carlos Moya was scrapped.
The overall scores had ended level at 1-1 on Friday after Hewitt and Moya beat Ferrero and Philippoussis respectively in the opening singles rubbers.
But the hosts moved ahead on Saturday as doubles pairing Todd Woodbridge and Wayne Arthurs sealed a straight-sets win against Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez.
In Sunday's reverse singles, Philippoussis got off to a sharp start in a rubber Ferrero and Spain needed to win to keep alive their Cup ambitions.
Philippoussis had an early chance to break at 5-4 up in the first set, only for his opponent to hold serve.
It was only a matter of time, though, for the fired-up Australian, who broke the world number three to go into a 7-5 lead.
AUSTRALIA'S 28 CUP WINS
1907-09, 1911, 1914, 1919, 1939, 1950-53, 1955-57, 1959-62, 1964-67, 1973, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1999, 2003
Ferrero, who had produced some stunning tennis in the opening tie of the final against Hewitt, struggled again in the second set and was duly broken at 2-1.
From there Philippoussis went on to comfortably move two sets clear, only for his rival to hit back in commanding fashion in the ensuing two sets.
It was a complete role reversal, as his serve fell apart and was blighted by a series of double faults.
Ferrero levelled the scores with incredible ease before Philippoussis' time-out.
That five-minute interval completely destroyed Ferrero's momentum and the Spaniard looked a shadow of his former self when play finally resumed.
Revitalised, Philippoussis produced arguably the best tennis of the entire final to coast to a 6-0 final-set victory, sealed with a powerful overhead smash.
A despondent Ferrero said: "The feeling is bad and of sadness. We came here with a lot of hope.
"We wanted to win this final but we had a bit of bad luck."