Spain defends the salad bowl with Alcaraz, but without Nadal or Roberto Bautista


Without Rafael Nadal and, at the last minute without Roberto Bautista, but with the debut in the competition of the breakthrough player of the season, Carlos Alcaraz placeholder image, the Spanish team of Davis cup is ready to defend the salad bowl that he put in 2019 on his table and add a new title, the seventh, which would place him among the five countries with the best track record of the tournament born in the year 1900.

Bautista’s recent discharge due to an abdominal injury elevates the prominence of Alcaraz, winner of the New Generation Finals and advancing by leaps and bounds through the ATP ranking (position 32). The promising tennis player of the Navy as an expert racket squire of Pablo Carreño (20) and the double formed by Feliciano lopez and Marcel granollers, all of them members of the winning team in the last edition. Albert Ramos He is now the fifth man, called at the last minute by the physical setback of the number nineteen in the world.

While the pandemic has allowed the team led by Sergi Bruguera to enjoy the champion’s vitola for two years, since the competition was suspended in 2020, the Davis now poses a challenge of the highest demand for Spain: a group, A, that will share with Ecuador and Russia and from which only one quarterfinalist will come out, at most two if the second classified is one of the two best of the total of the six groups.

The matches will be played on the hard surface of the courts of the Madrid Arena.

Ecuador, against which Spain will debut on Friday, arrives in the Spanish capital with nothing to lose and wanting to skip the script. Emilio Gómez, Roberto Quiroz, Diego Hidalgo, Gonzalo Escobar and Cayetano March are the cards with which the South American team will play this game, in which Bruguera’s men cannot be surprised.

The most sensible thing is to think that the Spanish will compete for the first place in the group on Sunday, and that it will not be easy for them to obtain it, with the Russian team that they make up. Daniil Medvedev, Andrey rublev, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Jachanov and Evgeny Donskoy.

Medvedev and Rublev, second and fifth in the world, pose a clear threat to Hispanic aspirations, especially in view of how both have ended this season. The two were in last week’s ATP finals, with Medvedev as a finalist and Rublev eliminated in the group stage.

Spain and Russia have already met in group B of the 2019 finals, with a 2-1 win for Bruguera’s men. Bautista lost to Andrey Rublev, Nadal beat Karen Jachanov and Marcel Granollers and Feliciano López beat Rublev / Jachanov.

The winner of group A will be measured in the quarters with one of the best seconds, with more options to advance through the table towards the grand finale on December 5.

The discharge of Roberto Bautista -the emotional hero of 2019, when the final coincided with the death of his father- who seems to have taken the measure of Medvedev, whom he has won in his three previous matches, all on hard surface and the last this year in quarterfinals. Miami, has caught with the step changed the Spanish team a few hours after its debut.

The other antecedents among the predictable Russian and Spanish individuals favor the former. Carlos Alcaraz has lost once to Medvedev.

“There is no problem having a team like the one we have. Obviously when you have Rafa Nadal, who is the best player in the history of Davis, you become a direct favorite but we still have a strong and very good team. The players we have have a lot of quality and for me it is good to be able to choose between so many levels. It would be worse to have to settle for putting what you can “, analyzes Sergi Bruguera.

“Russia, by ranking, is the most complete team and the strongest rival, because they come with the fittest player, Daniil Medvedev, and they also have Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev. They have an impressive team, “assumed the captain of the Spanish team.

One of the great incentives for the Madrid public will be to attend the possible premiere of Alcaraz in this competition, if Bruguera decides to give him that opportunity. With just 18 years and six months, the Murcian would be the second youngest Spanish tennis player to play the Cup, after Rafael Nadal, who debuted at 17.

In any case, his presence in the team is one more sign that has already left the promise condition behind. The company of seasoned tennis players such as Carreño, Olympic bronze in Tokyo, can only help him continue to grow, as he himself has highlighted.

“When the captain told me, I didn’t believe it. It was a dream I had since I was a child and to be able to fulfill it when I was 18 years old is very nice and very special, “he commented on his call.

“I did not expect at all to grow so fast, mature so fast and of course, getting into the Davis Cup team so quickly. I have surprised myself, “said the Murcian player, who wants to debut” winning and with a full state. ”

“I want the rival to think that it is going to be difficult, that he is going to have to run and sweat a lot to be able to beat me. Make you feel a little scared“Alcaraz said of his goals on the track.

If Spain achieves another Davis Cup would get, tied at seven with Sweden, in the top-5 of teams with the best record, behind only 32 in the United States, 28 in Australia and 10 in France and Great Britain.

The salad bowl the name of Spain is engraved in the editions of 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019.

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