He may have beaten him 63 60 at last week’s ATP World Tour Finals, but champion Roger Federer is in no way underestimating Rafael Nadal’s impact at this weekend’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final between Spain and Argentina.
The world No. 3 spoke to DavisCup.com on Sunday. “I’m sure it’s an open match in some ways but I think Spain are really the overwhelming favourite. They are playing at home and they have an incredibly solid team. The Argentineans have their players and their team and anything is possible, but obviously it’s normal to favour the Spaniards with Rafa on the team, back on clay.”
Federer’s own team Switzerland faces USA in the first round of the 2012 competition in February. Tickets for that tie in Fribourg sold out in a matter of hours when they were released last week.
Federer isn’t the only one picking Spain for victory. Tomas Berdych, who knows what it’s like to face the Spanish at home on clay after losing to them in the 2009 final, also agrees.
“Rafa didn’t play his best here but I know what he’s able to do on clay and he’s going to be really strong,” said the Czech No. 1 from the O2 in London. “And David [Ferrer], he had three great matches here, he might be a bit tired but he also loves to play on clay and especially in Spain. I think it’s going to be a really tough one and I think Spain is the favourite and they are going to win.”
Marin Cilic also spoke to DavisCup.com and knows exactly how important a win means to the players, having watched his own team Croatia lift the historic trophy back in 2005. It will be a tougher affair for the hosts, according to the Croatian, but they will ultimately come out with the win.
“I think the deciding match could be the doubles as both teams have great singles players. For Argentina I believe they could win two singles matches out of four, but to win three against Spanish guys at home, I think it’s going to be a little tough so I give a slight chance to Spain to win this title.”