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Nadal pitted against Monaco in opener

sports Updated: Dec 01, 2011 23:30 IST
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal will play Argentina's Juan Monaco in Friday's opening singles rubber as the world number two returns to the scene of his first professional triumph to begin Spain's bid for a third Davis Cup title in four years.

Nadal was just 18 when he defeated American No.1 Andy Roddick on the same indoor clay court at Seville's Olympic Stadium to help the Spanish claim the Cup in 2004.

Thursday's draw for the final of the 99th edition of the competition pitted Nadal against world No. 26 Monaco, while Spanish No. 2 David Ferrer will take on 11th-ranked Juan Martin Del Potro in the second singles.

Saturday's doubles match pits Spanish pair Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez against Argentina's David Nalbandian and Eduardo Schwank, with the two reverse singles to be played on Sunday.

Showing solidarity

Nadal showed his solidarity with Argentina players by slamming the timing of anti-doping controls. A day prior to the start of the three-day competition Argentina's camp was up in arms, however, after being woken early to undergo anti-doping tests. "All athletes want sport to be clean, but that's not the way to go about it," he said.