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Nadal headlines strong Spain squad for Davis Cup tie against India


Madrid, Sep 6 (IANS) Spain will bring its strongest possible tennis squad including 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and World No.13 David Ferrer to face hosts India in a Davis Cup World Group Play-off tie.

World No.5 Nadal, who on Monday shockingly crashed out of the US Open in the fourth round, will headline a strong squad also including doubles specialists Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, coach Conchita Martinez said on Tuesday, reports Efe.

His early ouster from the US Open facilitated the inspirational left-hander's inclusion in the squad against India.

"The return to the team of Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer is the big news of the Spanish team which will travel to India for the play-off," the Spanish tennis federation announced on Tuesday.

"Nadal returns to the Davis Cup with the good feelings left in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and US Open, despite his early elimination in the fourth round," it added.

Nadal and Ferrer are expected to play the four singles matches of the five-match tie while Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez will play the doubles match.

Nadal was absent from Spain's previous round win over Romania due to a wrist injury that prevented him from playing in the French Open and Wimbledon.

Ferrer also returns to the team after playing the crucial qualifier in Denmark last season after three years away in the competition.

The match will be held at the hard courts of the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium in New Delhi from September 16-18.

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has already announced that it was retaining all the four players that beat South Korea 4-1 in July.

But India will be without their injured two top singles players Yuki Bhambri and Somdev Devvarman, whose vacant places will be filled up by Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan.

In the Davis Cup tie against South Korea, Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan played the singles matches while Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna teamed up for the doubles.

Paes and Bopanna, despite a long history of acrimonious relations between them, won their tie against South Korea. The pair, however, lost in the very first round of the Rio Olympics tennis competitions last month.

It will be the fourth meeting between the two countries and first since 1965 with Spain leading 2-1.

The Indian team will start their practice in Delhi from Sunday.



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