Spain captain Sanchez puts faith in Lopez
Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:04
Spaniard Feliciano Lopez is in for a busy weekend after Emilio Sanchez chose the world No.31 over team-mate Fernando Verdasco to fill his teams No.2 spot for this weekends Argentina-Spain Davis Cup final.
A-Z guide to the Davis Cup final
Speculation surrounding which of the two players would fill Spains No.2 spot had rumbled on all week but Sanchezs decision was revealed at Thursdays draw.
“It has been difficult to take the decision,” Sanchez said. “Fernando is a little bit ahead in the rankings but Feliciano has shown a bit more in training.”
World No.12 David Ferrer will lead the Spanish challenge and will open the Mar del Plata tie when he takes on Argentinas No.2 player David Nalbandian in Fridays opening singles.
“It’s all the same, whether I play first or second, there’s no problem,” Nalbandian said.
“Ferrer is a very complete player, he doesn’t have a stroke which stands out as his best, he’s very solid on the baseline and he fights for every point. I’m going to have to play well to beat him.”
Lopez will then face Argentine No.1 Juan Martin Del Potro in the second rubber of the three-day tie and will be back on court 24 hours later when he teams up with Verdasco for Saturdays doubles against Jose Acasuso and Agustin Calleri.
The tie will be concluded with another two singles when Ferrer faces Del Potro in Sundays opening match before Nalbandian goes face to face with Lopez.
Argentina are hot favourites to win their first Davis Cup title and will be cheered on by 11,000-plus fans at the Estadio Islas Malvinas.
The hosts will be hoping to continue their staggering record of being undefeated on home soil since 1998. Play begins at 1pm on Friday.
Order of play
David Nalbandian (ARG) v David Ferrer (ESP)
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Jose Acasuso & Agustin Calleri (ARG) v Feliciano Lopez & Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) v David Ferrer (ESP)
David Nalbandian (ARG) v Feliciano Lopez (ESP)