Spain chooses Seville to host Davis Cup final
Madrid: Spain`s tennis federation has selected the southwestern city of Seville as the venue for the Davis Cup final in early December, when the host nation will square off against Argentina.
The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation said Wednesday it opted for Seville ahead of the Mediterranean city of Valencia, which initially appeared to be the frontrunner.
The race to host the Davis Cup final began Sep 18, when Spain and Argentina wrapped up their semifinal victories over France and Serbia, respectively.
Because the last Davis Cup tie between the two countries - the 2008 final - was played in Argentina, it was Spain`s turn to be the host nation.
Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Valencia were all in the running but the federation narrowed the selection down to the latter two cities and eventually decided to propose that Seville host the event from Dec 2-4.
The International Tennis Federation still must approve the selection.
Seville was the venue for the 2004 Davis Cup final, in which Spain - led by teenage sensation Rafael Nadal - rolled to a comfortable victory over the US.
The Spaniards captured their first Davis Cup championship in 2000 in Barcelona with a victory over Australia, their third with an upset of Argentina in Mar del Plata in 2008 and their fourth a year later with a victory over the Czech Republic, again in Barcelona.
Spain`s players - most notably Nadal - excel in slow conditions and have consistently argued that playing at more than 2,000 feet above sea level in Madrid would hurt their chances.
Besides Nadal, now 25 and the world`s second-ranked player, Spain`s other singles player almost surely will be world No. 5 David Ferrer, but Spanish captain Albert Costa may need to reconsider his doubles team after Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco lost badly against France.
In recent years, Spain has always chosen to play its home Davis Cup ties on red clay and that will be the surface once again in December.
Argentina, which has never won the Davis Cup, will be led by two strong singles players - veteran David Nalbandian and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.
Juan Ignacio Chela and Juan Monaco played the doubles match in the semifinals but, like their Spanish counterparts, were defeated in straight sets.
In addition to its four titles, Spain has lost in the Davis Cup final three times, most recently in 2003 against Australia.