Their top 3 players may be down and out for the count, but the Spaniards have nothing to fear from Switzerland in their Davis Cup tie. Rafael Nadal (knee), Fernando Verdasco (injured nerve in leg) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (knee) are all out of the first tie injured but will be replaced by Nicolas Almagro, Tommy Robredo, Marcel Granollers, and last years finals hero, David Ferrer. Luckily for Spain their current generation of tennis players is so strong that captain Albert Costa frequently has to turn away top 20 players.
As Costa says “Normally, it’s very difficult to pick between the players because it’s very small things that make you decide. It’s not nice because you have to tell huge players they are not in the team, but you have to do it. I always say that the biggest weapon for Spain is that we have a lot of players, we can maybe choose two teams. But while it’s important that these guys are in the team their replacements are huge players so that’s why it gives me confidence.”
The Swiss team were always going to be without Roger Federer, who, although he is currently unwell, never made himself available for this first tie against Spain, possibly fearing a showdown with Rafa on clay with national and personal pride on the line. On home soil, on the red dirt of Spain, Rafa was always the favourite to win that rubber, but it would have been an interesting showdown between arguably the two best clay courters in the world. It is, however, not unusual for Federer to not make himself available for the first tie, which on this occasion is when they need him most.
In even worse news for the Swiss team, the Spaniards have won their last 18 ties on home soil, which stretches back to 1999. They have also not lost a tie on clay since 1993 against the Netherlands when they lost 2-3.
Stanislas Wawrinka is returning to the tour for his first match since the Australian Open after the birth of his daughter. He will take on Nico in the opening rubber.
The line up for the weekends tie currently is as follows;
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
David Ferrer (ESP) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)
Marcel Granollers/Tommy Robredo (ESP) v Yves Allegro/Stansilas Wawrinka (ESP)
David Ferrer (ESP) v Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI)
Nicolas Almagro (ESP) v Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)