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Tennis | Davis Cup

Alex Corretja © Gallo Images

Spain play Davis Cup underdogs



Spain are playing the weekend Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic without their best player, Rafael Nadal, but they still like their chances.

After all Spain already won a Davis Cup final away and without Nadal, in 2008 in Argentina.

"If it has happened before, why can't it happen again?" Spain's Davis Cup captain Alex Corretja told dpa in an interview.

"We have not come this far to die on the bank of the river. We have swum a lot all through the year," player Nicolas Almagro said of the team's intentions in another interview with dpa.

The Spaniards are out to claim a sixth Davis Cup title in 13 years. They are to play on a very fast surface but they rely on the confident leadership of world No 5 David Ferrer, who has only lost one of his last 13 matches on indoor hard courts.

"It's a very difficult, very complicated final," said Corretja, 38, who played 19 Davis Cup ties between 1996 and 2003.

"We're not going to win it with Ferrer alone. We assume they are the favourites: they were born on this surface, they play perfect on it, but we're convinced that we can win."

World number 11 Almagro does not agree with those who think that Spain should put pressure on veteran Radek Stepanek, who at 34 is the Cezchs' No 2 player, as the key to winning the tie. The No 1 player for the 1980 champions (then as Czechoslovakia) is sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych.

"The key is to win three points. It does not matter who, when and where we win them," he stressed.

"But it's true that if David (Ferrer) can get us that point on the first day, that will bring a lot of calm to the team," he said.

The Spaniards are worried about the super-fast court chosen by the Czechs might be, but they know that is just the problem with playing away.

"It is a faster surface than any I have played on so far this year, but we knew that before we came here," Ferrer admitted.

"According to the ITF it is within the boundaries of what is allowed, so we have to accept it," Corretja said. "We're going to play and that's that."

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