The second-ranked Nadal will return to the Olympic Stadium, where he helped Spain win the title in 2004, to face the 26th-ranked Monaco in the opener of the best-of-five series. Fifth-ranked David Ferrer will play Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal has won 18-straight singles matches in the competition since losing in his debut match in 2004.
“It’s a tough match not only to play the first game for Argentina but also against my good friend Rafa,” Monaco said Thursday at the Lope de Vega theater, the site of the draw for the final. “It’s a new challenge, but it definitely motivates me to be playing in my first Davis Cup final.”
“No match is won beforehand. Somebody has to play first and I’m going to be the first to try and win that first point for Spain,” said Nadal, a six-time French Open champion who is scheduled to play Del Potro in Sunday’s reverse singles. “Even if I’m tired, I tried my best to arrive in the best conditions. Every point will be a difficult one.”
Because Nalbandian hasn’t played in two months, Argentina captain Tito Vazquez decided to save the 2002 Wimbledon finalist for doubles. Schwank, who is 2-0 in doubles on clay, replaced Juan Ignacio Chela.
“It’s a shame since it was a rest day and we didn’t get to rest,” Vazquez said. “It didn’t seem very appropriate. They could have done it the day before at another moment, but unfortunately that’s not up to us to decide.”
“We all want a clean sport,” Nadal said. “But the system and the way it is used leaves much to be desired.”View Entire Story
By Elaine Donnelly
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