Q: Last year’s comprehensive defeat against France in the quarterfinals must not bring good memories. What lessons did you learn from that tie? Is there a mood of revenge in the team?
ALBERT COSTA: You learn from everything in this life, and even more from defeats.
It was a more even tie that the final score may reflect because some of the matches were really tight, but France knew how to play in the decisive moments. I am lucky because I have a team of winners that are very professional and the defeat was very painful for them. Just moments after the tie, we had a meeting and the most positive thing was that we told ourselves that is impossible to change the past but that we all would keep our commitment with our country.
Q: What will be the key aspects of this tie?
A.C. : In this moment I think that the only key aspect is to play well, to prepare the tie well, going match after match and to respect the rival. It is obvious that in this tie there will be players of the highest level so, regardless of other aspects, we will need to play our best in order to have some chance.
Q: What did the victory in Austin mean for the team? Do you think it will have a repercussion in the motivation and team spirit?
A C. :We won a great tie in Austin that was, without any doubt, very important for our country.
The most important thing in Austin was that, above everything else, there is a huge commitment with Spain and that the players give all for their country. The spirit of this team cannot be judged or called into question for one tie. The results speak for themselves.
Luckily, my players don’t need to be motivated because they already are. But I repeat, it was a great victory for the Spanish tennis.
Q: What are the strongest points of the French team? Are you worried about Tsonga’s return to form?
A C. :France’s strength is not in one name or the other. I think that they are a team and have the strength of a team. In this sense, it will be a tie between two teams that fight for their country regardless of who steps into the court.
Q: Considering how competitive the French team is... Do you think that a victory without Nadal is possible? Do you think that he will be available to play?
A C. :Rafa has already declared that he is available for playing, as he has always been whenever his physical condition has allowed him to. I repeat that our strength is collective. We all know about the strength and importance of Rafa in the team, but I don’t have any doubt about the quality and competitiveness of all my players.
Q: David Ferrer has become a hero for the supporters after his great performances in the Davis Cup like the one in Austin. What does Ferru mean for the team?
A C. :David has been doing amazing things for a long time. You are not among the best in the world for years by chance. David is an important member of this team because of his tennis, his human quality, his naturalness and his heart.
Q: The amazing current generation of Spanish tennis players were passed the baton from another generation, yours, equally successful. How do you see the future of the Spanish tennis? Will there be continuity?
A C. :There’s no need to get obsessed with the future but to enjoy the present. A very important work is being done from the base for the future. We have young people with a lot of quality, but it is necessary to let them work and not put them under pressure.
Spain has always been a country of great players.
Q: Do you have in mind any player that could have his debut in the next ties?
A C. :The hardest part of being a captain of the Spanish Davis Cup team is that you have to discard players of a very high level. All the Spanish players are on my mind, and I know that all of them want to play for Spain. What else can I ask for?
Q: What percentage of chance would you give to each team to qualify for the final? Do you see yourself as favourite?
A C. :The percentages are anecdotal. I think that both countries have the level to be in the final and that we are going to fight with all our resources in order to achieve it. The percentages are useless. The only thing that matters is winning three points, and the points, in a Davis Cup semifinal, don’t come as a present.
Q: Do you think that the hot weather of Cordoba can give you the edge over France?
We’ll see the temperatures in Cordoba during those days. The only advantage that we have, and it’s a very important one, is that our supporters never let us down, they always give us an extra amount of strength in the moments that we need it more.
Questions from Twitter
Francisco García: Is Spain ready to beat Serbia in the final?
A C. :Spain is right now working to beat France in the semifinals. We will see whether or not we achieve it and if Serbia beats Argentina.
Gustavo Parodi: What is Spain doing to have a so competitive tennis for such a long time?
A C. :I think we have a pyramid of tournaments, clubs, coaches and programmes that is delivering great results, and at the same time we it has coincided with great players, with people that have made big sacrifices to reach the top. The only secret is to work.
David Moreno: How do you see the option of changing the ATP calendar in order to give more importance to Davis Cup, keeping its traditional format?
A C. :There are always options to introduce improvements in calendars and in competitions, but it is not easy to make everyone agree.
Toro Sport: Who do you prefer for the final?
A C. :The final is very far. We still need to win three points against France.
DAVIS CUP RADIO: Live commentary of the World Group semifinals - Spain v France and Serbia v Argentina - will be broadcast on the Davis Cup website, alongside round-ups of all the action from the World Group play-offs (16-18 September).