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www.daviscup.com

24 November 2011

Pre-tie analysis: Spain v Argentina


NEWS ARTICLE

By 

  • Manuel Brocos

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) and Rafael Nadal (ESP)


Spain and Argentina go head-to-head in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final, the locals have the chance to win their fifth title while the Argentineans will be looking to lift their first ever Davis Cup after having reached the Final three times. The tie is being held at the Olympic Stadium in Seville (Spain) on 2-4 December.


Road to the Final

Spain started their 2011 Davis Cup campaign by beating Belgium with a very strong squad led by Rafael Nadal. In the following round, the Spaniards passed a tough test in Austin (Texas) against USA thanks to a heroic performance by David Ferrer. Lastly in the semifinals, Spain showed their absolute dominance on clay by beating a powerful French team 4-1 in Cordoba.

 

David Nalbandian returned to the team for 2011’s first round against Romania and helped Argentina to earn a comprehensive 4-1 victory in Buenos Aires. The second round against Kazakhstan was even more one-sided and ended 5-0. The real test for the Argentines would come in the semifinals against Serbia when Juan Martin del Potro secured the third point after pushing Djokovic to the limit.


Team leaders

Rafael Nadal

The clay courts, like the one in Seville, are Rafael Nadal’s natural environment as proved by his six Roland Garros titles. The world No. 2 will be eager to finish the season on a high after the disappointments of losing in the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

Juan Martin del Potro

Juan Martin del Potro has declared that this has been a dream season for him. After a long injury lay-off, the Argentine started 2011 as world No. 485 and is now only one place short of the Top 10. The Davis Cup title would be the perfect culmination to a year that has seen him recover to close to his best form.


Captains

Albert Costa

The Catalan player took over the role of skipper in December 2008 and has since led the team to glory on one occasion (2009). As a player, Costa was a clay court specialist and had his biggest achievement came in 2002, when he won Roland Garros.

Tito Vazquez

The experienced Vazquez is currently in his second stint as Argentina’s captain, having originally served as skipper during the 1980s. His current spell started in 2009 and his best performance came last year when he guided the team to the semifinals. He’s also been captain of Argentina’s Fed Cup team in the past.


Keep an eye on...

Feliciano Lopez

Lopez is likely to play the doubles partnering Fernando Verdasco but the Spaniard has shown this season that he can be a guarantee of success in singles if given the chance. The 30-year-old has just reached a career-high No. 20 in the ATP rankings and will aim to be as decisive as in the 2008 Final against Argentina.

Juan Monaco

Some players reach the end of the season exhausted but this seems not to be the case for Juan Monaco. In November, the world No. 26 reached the Valencia Open final and the Paris Masters quarterfinals, and has been the most active Argentinean player over the last month.


Davis Cup pedigree

Spain

The Iberians reached their first Davis Cup win in 2000 but have lifted the trophy on four different occasions since then. This makes them the most successful Davis Cup team of the new millennium.

Argentina

Argentina’s Davis Cup history is a case of so close yet so far. The nation is one of only three, alongside Romania and India, to have reached more than one Final without being crowned champion, having finished runner-up in 1981, 2006 and 2008.



Head-to-head

3 - 0

 

The head-to-head statistics are very positive for the local team as Spain beat Argentina on the three occasions these two nations have met in Davis Cup, most recently, and most significantly, in the 2008 Final in Mar del Plata.


Surface

Clay (Indoors)

 

Both the Spaniards and the Argentines are known to be at their best on clay. However, the local team will be led by the six-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal, considered by many to be the best clay court player of all time, and therefore the surface is expected to favour the Spaniards’ interests.


Home and away

Spain

The Spanish team haven’t lost a tie on home soil since 1999 when they went down to Guga Kuerten´s Brazil in the World Group first round.

Argentina

The Argentineans have played five away ties in the last two years that resulted in three victories (Russia, Sweden and Serbia) and two defeats (France and Czech Republic).

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      21 Nov 2011

      Argentina will leapfrog Spain and become the No. 1 ranked Davis Cup nation if they upset the odds and claim victory at the Olympic Stadium in Seville

    • A taste of Davis Cup Final

      07 Nov 2011

      The semifinals of the Valencia Open 500 have seen two Spaniards and two Argentines clashing for the title only one month before the Davis Cup Final in Seville.

    • Monaco has a dream

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      Juan Monaco has shared with us his feelings about Davis Cup just a few weeks before the Final against Spain.

    • Roof completed in Seville

      18 Nov 2011

      The installation of the roof that will protect the clay court during the Davis Cup Final was completed on Thursday at the Olympic Stadium in Seville

    • Team nominations announced for Final

      22 Nov 2011

      Spain have named world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in their team for the Davis Cup Final in Seville, while Argentina are led by former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro

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