Nadal ready for Davis Cup final | sports | Hindustan Times
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Nadal ready for Davis Cup final

sports Updated: Dec 02, 2009 22:39 IST

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Spain go into this weekend's Davis Cup final as defending champions and with every reason to relish the prospect of a return to Barcelona's Palau Sant Jordi, the indoor arena that played host to their first Cup final win in 2000.

Nadal has been struggling of late, failing to win so much as a set in the ATP finals last week.

“We are outsiders in Barcelona,” Czech number one Radek Stepanek said. “To take into consideration Nadal's failure in London? That doesn't work. The moment he steps on to the Barcelona clay, he will be a totally different player.”

Nadal heads a formidable line-up that includes world number nine Fernando Verdasco, David Ferrer (ranked 18th) and Feliciano Lopez (47).

Captain Albert Costa was part of the team that overcame Australia in a memorable tussle at the Palau in 2000, when crowds screamed themselves hoarse in support of their team.

If Spain win they will become the first team to successfully defend the Davis Cup since Sweden in 1998.