Nalbanian heads Argentina team to face Germany

Buenos Aires: David Nalbandian, despite his drop in the world rankings, will be Argentina`s leading player in Juan Martin del Potro`s absence when the 2011 finalists visit Germany in the first round of the Davis Cup next month.

Captain Martin Jaite, who replaced Modesto Vazquez after Argentina`s loss to Spain in Sevilla last month, also named Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank in his team, the Argentina Tennis Association (AAT) said on Thursday.

Nalbandian, a former world number three now ranked 64, is Argentina`s most seasoned Davis Cup campaigner having helped them reach three finals since 2006.

"We`re going (to Germany) with a very experienced team, with players who have played great Davis Cup battles and in my first experience as captain that gives me a lot of confidence," said Jaite, who travels on Saturday to follow his players at the Australian Open.

"We know we face a complicated tie with a very compact German team but if I have to summarise in one word what the Argentine team is, I say it`s experienced and that keeps me calm," he said in an AAT statement.

The 11th-ranked Del Potro, 2009 US Open champion before a wrist injury stalled his career in 2010, made himself unavailable for the tie on clay in Bamberg from Feb. 10-12.

Del Potro, who prefers hard courts, said it would interfere in his early season to have to change to clay for the tie and could also be risky.

Bureau Report

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