Raging bull Rafael Nadal will be ready to go against the US in next weekend's  semi-final

Davis Cup: Rafa ready to lead Spanish



Originally published on 26/02/10 11:13

Spains Davis Cup captain Emilio Sanchez Vicario has confirmed world No.1 Rafael Nadal is ready to lead his countrys Davis Cup squad against the US next weekend.

Nadal will join David Ferrer (WR5), Fernando Verdasco (WR15), Feliciano Lopez (WR38) and Nicolas Almagro (WR18) to take on the Americans in the semi-final fixture in Madrid from 19-21 September. The tie will be held on outdoor clay in Madrid’s 21,000-seat bullring at Las Ventas.

“Rafa is very enthusiastic about this tie and when he’s like that there is no problem”

Despite Almagro being called in as cover for the squad, Sanchez Vicario confirmed that by the time the contest kicks off next Friday the Mallorcan will have recovered from his Olympics and US Open exploits. “Rafa has had a spectacular season and I am delighted because he has a lot of confidence at present,” Sanchez Vicario said.

“He lost a match but the tiredness and stress are within normal limits. He has a few days to recover, to sleep and relax, before he comes here. He is very enthusiastic about this tie and when he’s like that there is no problem.

“It takes a while to adapt to playing at altitude and if all the players are there from the outset, we are better able to cope with any emergencies that may occur.

Earlier this week, US captain Patrick McEnroe confirmed world No.11 James Blake would miss the tie due to exhaustion, but despite his absence Sanchez Vicario says it will be a tough task against the US team of Andy Roddick (WR8), Sam Querrey (WR40) and the world No.1 doubles pair Bob and Mike Bryan.

“The United States are the champions, have a great team spirit, and have been together for many years,” Sanchez Vicario said. “All the games will be very difficult and it should be a great spectacle.”

In the other semi-final Russia will travel to Buenos Aires to tackle the might of Argentina and Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev has called up Davis Cup newcomer Igor Kunitsyn for the tie.

World No.76 Kunitsyn replaces Mikhail Youzhny who is still suffering from a neck injury.

Kunitsyn will be joined by world No.6 Nikolay Davydenko, Igor Andreev (WR20), Dmitry Tursunov (WR26) and Marat Safin (WR39) for the clay court fixture at Estadio Parque Roca.

The Argentines have nominated David Nalbandian (WR7), Juan Martin Del Potro (WR13), Agustin Calleri (WR49) and Guillermo Canas (WR55).

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