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Spaniards upbeat despite Rafa absence

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:09

The Spanish team, comprising Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers, arrived at Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza airport this lunchtime from where they travelled to Mar del Plata, the coastal city that will host the final starting next Friday.

The loss of Nadal aside, Spain also face the formidable task of overcoming an Argentina team that boasts the likes of Juan Martin Del Potro and David Nalbandian, but Ferrer told the TN television network: “I’m very motivated as playing a final is always special. I want it to begin now.”

“But it’s going to be difficult, as Del Potro had an excellent season and Nalbandian is a champion. They both play in a similar style, being very powerful. It will be crucial to be physically and mentally fit to tire them on the court.

“We know that is going to be hard without Rafa, but we have faced them a lot of times so we know each other very well.”

Spain captain Emilio Sanchez Vicario believes confidence is high in the Spanish camp despite the odds being stacked in Argentina’s favour.

He said: “Spain have one chance to win it and we will try to take it. We won’t lose the faith. Nadal’s absence made us change our plans.

“Argentina are favourites, but we’ll try as hard as we can.”

Lopez, the world number 31, added: “We hope to play as well as we can. Rafa is the number one in the world, but we’re still a very competitive team without him.

“We’ve been in the tennis elite for a lot of years, playing a lot of finals.”

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