(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
Rafael Nadal returns the ball during the doubles match against Yoni
Erlich and Andy Ram in the Rome Masters tennis tournament.
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.
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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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