Fatigue among Spain’s players could help a well-prepared Argentina spring a surprise at this week’s Davis Cup final in Seville, Spain.
Spain have won the competition four times in 11 years, are unbeaten in 20 home ties and will be playing on their preferred clay-court surface in front of a noisy home crowd, but Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer are going into the match less than fresh.
World No. 2 Nadal and fifth-ranked Ferrer competed at the season-ending ATP Tour Finals in London last week, the latter reaching the semi-finals before falling to eventual winner Roger Federer.
“We’re all physically tired, but this is a final, so it’s the last push,” Ferrer told a news conference on Tuesday. “We want to get this victory ... for us this is very important.”
While Nadal and Ferrer were slugging it out in London, Argentina were training on clay courts in Barcelona before moving down to Seville to complete their preparations.
“The players have been making a big effort over the last three weeks,” Argentina captain Tito Vazquez said. “They have sacrificed their normal schedule and devoted energy to this tie. I’m very proud of them.”
World No. 11 Juan Martin del Potro and 64th-ranked David Nalbandian have not played a competitive match since last month and it remains to be seen whether the break will have given the two Argentines an edge.
“Maybe we are slight favorites, but we have to show it on the court,” Spain captain Albert Costa said. “Argentina are a very strong team and they play very well in the Davis Cup, so it’s going to be tough.”