Davis Cup, India vs Spain: Disappointment for local fans as stomach upset rules Rafael Nadal out of opening rubber
In his place, world number 26 Feliciano Lopez will take on 203 ranked Indian.
New Delhi: In a dramatic turn of events, former world number one Rafael Nadal was ruled out of the opening match of the Davis Cup World Group Play-off between India and Spain on Friday, at New Delhi.
The 13-time Grand Slam singles champion was scheduled to play Ramkumar Ramanathan in the opening singles rubber the RK Khanna Stadium. But the 30-year-old pulled out of the match due to an upset stomach.
In his place, Spain has nominated world number 26 Feliciano Lopez to take on 203 ranked Indian. If Nadal recovers in time, he could play the reverse singles against Saketh Myneni on Sunday. The second singles rubber is supposed to be played between Myneni and David Ferrer according to the original line-up.
Spain, five time champions in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, starts as the obvious favourites to win this tie. But India have a rich history when it comes to team tennis, and have managed to shock some the top teams in the past. And Spain are taking India likely.
Spain are out of world group since January 2014 when they lost 1-4 to Germany in the first round. They have been striving in the European\Africa zone since then.
Yesterday, Nadal and Ferrer were involved in a grueling practice session. But the unexpected turn of events will sure disappoint Indian fans who have come in hordes to witness Nadal play in flesh.
Nadal's involvement in the tie has generated huge interests in India with his loyal fans eagerly waiting for a glimpse of the Clay King.
India had beaten South Korea 4-1 in their Asia/Oceania Group I second round tie while Spain defeated Romania with the same margin in their Europe/Africa zonal tie.
India and Spain have locked horns thrice so far in Davis Cup with the European nation leading the head-to-head record 2-1. The last time India played Spain was as far back as 1965 when they lost the away tie 2-3.