VALENCIA, April 5, 2018
World No. 1 Rafael Nadal will be back in action this weekend. The 31-year-old is part of Spain’s line-up for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas quarterfinal clash against Germany at the Plaza de Toros in Valencia.
Nadal will play the second singles rubber on Friday against Philipp Kohlschreiber. The left-hander from Palma de Mallorca leads 15-1 in their head-to-head records. The German’s lone win came on grass in Halle 2012.
Nadal is bidding to win his 32nd straight rubber and set the record for the longest Davis Cup winning streak in combined singles and doubles rubbers. Nadal will play his first competitive match since he was forced to retire in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. In the Davis Cup, he has not lost a match since the doubles rubber in Spain’s 3-2 victory over Italy in the 2005 Play-Offs.
Local favourite Ferrer and World No. 4 Zverev to kick off the action
David Ferrer and Germany’s No. 1 Alexander Zverev will kick off the action in front of about 8,000 expected spectators inside Spain’s fourth largest bullring. The pair is locked at 2-2. Ferrer, who was born in Jávea about 100 kilometres away from Valencia, can count on his home advantage. Zverev arrived in Spain on Wednesday after he had finished runner up at the Miami Open last Sunday.
“I practiced twice on clay this week, so it won’t be easy for me but I am happy to be here and I hope that we will have a successful start into the tie,” Zverev told during the draw ceremony held inside Valencia’s city hall on Thursday.
The Next-Gen hot shot, however, still has to deal with the jetlag. “I get up every day at midday, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow. Anyhow I will manage to get up,” Zverev joked.
Spanish team captain Sergi Bruguera had to replace Pablo Carreno Busta, who suffered from an inflammation on his finger. Marc López and Feliciano López are scheduled to play the doubles rubber on Saturday taking on Jan-Lennard Struff and Tim Pütz.
“Marc and Feliciano know each other very well,” Germany’s Davis Cup captain Michael Kohlmann commented on the change of nomination. “They team up on the ATP World Tour, so it will not make a difference for us.”