Nadal heads Spain's Davis Cup roster for semifinal vs Israel

September 9, 2009 14:04

The six-time Grand Slam winner has won his last 12 Davis Cup singles matches, with his last loss coming more than five years ago.

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Nadal. (photo credit: AP)

Rafael Nadal will make his Davis Cup return against Israel after being named by captain Albert Costa in Spain's squad for the semifinal tie in Murcia over the weekend of September 18-20.

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns...

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Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball during the doubles match against Yoni Erlich and Andy Ram in the Rome Masters tennis tournament.
Photo: AP

The six-time Grand Slam winner, who played in the fourth round of the US Open overnight, missed Spain's quarterfinal 3-2 victory over Germany through injury, but is fit again and will be his team's number 1 against Dudi Sela and Co.

Nadal has won his last 12 Davis Cup singles matches, with his last loss coming more than five years ago.

With 12 players in the top 100, Costa had plenty of options from which to select his squad, and he elected not to call up Spain's second-best ranked player Fernando Verdasco (10), instead choosing Tommy Robredo (15), David Ferrer (19) and Feliciano Lopez (37).

Even without Verdasco, the defending champion Spain is a massive favorite against Israel having won its last 16 home ties and its last 18 encounters on clay.

Unlike Costa, Israel captain Eyal Ran had practically no options and once more called-up Sela (35), Harel Levy (138), Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich.

Sela and Levy have struggled with their form since the stunning 4-1 quarterfinal victory over Russia, with Ram and Erlich not playing together since.

Ram and Max Mirnyi played No. 2 seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the quarterfinals of the US Open late Tuesday night.

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