World No. 4 Rafael Nadal, who had been due to participate in the country's first singles tie today, has pulled out of the singles rubber, it has been revealed. The former World No. 1, who was due to play 209th ranked Ramkumar Ramanathan in the singles in the Davis Cup opener today, will be replaced by 26th - ranked Feliciano Lopez, it was announced.
It is being reported that the King of Clay is suffering from a stomach infection.
Lopez, who is known as somewhat of a doubles specialist, finished in the semi-finals of the US Open this year with teammate Marc Lopez, with the pair losing to compatriots Pablo Carrena Busta and Guillermo Garcia Lopez.
Marc and Feliciano will play in the doubles tie tomorrow against the combine of Saketh Myneni and Leander Paes.
Although a possibly less-daunting opponent for Ramanathan, Lopez is no slouch – he holds the record for having appeared in the most consecutive Majors of any other player – having played in every single one since the French Open in 2002.
Feliciano has been on four Davis Cup-winning Spanish teams, and has a French Open doubles title to his name. He is also known to be able to vary both baseline and serve-and-volley play, and the 34-year-old Lopez is strong on both clay and grass,although he has been successful on hard courts as well.
Ramanathan, a relative rookie, could put up a fight against the Spaniard with a powerful serve, but it is likely Lopez will take this in straight sets.