Davis Cup holder Spain will have to cope without injured Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer when it faces Germany in the quarterfinals this weekend.
Knee tendinitis has ruled out Nadal for the second time in three Davis Cup contests, with the four-time French Open champion having missed the final triumph in Argentina with a similar injury. Australian Open semifinalist Fernando Verdasco and Tommy Robredo have been called on to step in for the regular singles players.
Captain Albert Costa has put his faith in Verdasco, who opens against the untested Andreas Beck on the outdoor clay. With Ferrer missing due to a muscle strain, Robredo will play Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has a 5-2 record on the red surface.
In Saturday’s doubles, Verdasco returns to partner Feliciano Lopez against Nicolas Kiefer and Mischa Zverev.
Germany captain Patrick Kuhnen is hoping the 51st-ranked Beck can spring a surprise against the Spanish, who haven’t lost on home soil since a first round defeat to Brazil in 1999 _ a stretch of 15 contests.
Safin dropped from singles
Tel Aviv: Russia’s former top-ranked player Marat Safin will not play any singles matches in this weekend’s Davis Cup quarterfinal against Israel following Thursday’s draw. Russian coach Shamil Tarpischev decided to play Safin in Saturday’s doubles, alongside Igor Kunitsyn, a decision Safin said he respected. Igor Andreev and Mikhail Youzhny will play the singles matches.