DC: Spain 4; Israel 1

Photo by Juanchi López

Photo by Juanchi López

Rafa might not be playing this tie, but he’s there cheering his team on and talking to Rosana. Ferrer won the first rubber against Harel Levy in just one hour and 53 minutes with a score of 6-1 6-4 6-3. Ferrero took care of Sela 6-4 6-2 6-0 in two hours and 26 minutes. On Saturday, Lopez and Robredo sealed the deal by winning the doubles in 4 exciting sets: 7-6(6) 6-7(7) 6-4 6-2. The weekend wrapped up with 2 dead rubbers: Ferrer def. Ram 6-3 6-1; Levy def. Lopez 7-5 6-2.

Spain is through to the Davis Cup finals where they will take on the Czech Republic at home where Albert Costa will have to decide on which players to put on the team. Given the depth of the Spanish bench, that’s either an enviable or difficult task.

As the custodian of the most powerful squad of players currently in world tennis, Costa must decide which four men will carry Spain’s colours into December’s final against Czech Republic. The four players who beat Israel 4-1 this past weekend formed a coherent unit, but it’s highly likely that only two will survive into December’s final, for the crushing of Israel was achieved without the country’s two top-tenners, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco. Yet a sign of the team spirit that exists among the Spaniards was the fact that both injured men sat through all three live rubbers on Friday and Saturday, a gesture of solidarity with their team that went beyond the call of duty.

If fit, Nadal has to be a definite for the final, and Verdasco ought also to be among the four. Not only is Verdasco having his best-ever year – a run to the top ten that was launched when he won the winning point for Spain in last year’s final in Argentina – but he and Feliciano Lopez are the best doubles combination at Costa’s disposal. That suggests that Lopez will make the starting line-up but Tommy Robredo is likely to miss out.

48 Responses

  1. mary says:

    Just thought I would add this from the official site:
    “September 18th 2009

    Rafa Nadal arrived in Murcia yesterday and is really looking forward to a fun couple of days with his team-mates for this weekend’s semi-final Davis Cup tie against Israel at the Torre Golf Resort Torre Pacheco.

    Rafa is not playing, however the Spanish team captain, Albert Costa has put together an amazing group of players who will battle on court for a place in the final: Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

    The Australian Open champ is very excited to know that he will be cheering from the stands with another ‘Armada’ member and close friend who is also suffering physical problems: Fernando Verdasco.

    Rafa has been feeling a lot of pain in the low right-abdominal area for some weeks now, and will take advantage of this trip to continue a more detailed examination of his stomach with his personal doctor, as well as the Spanish Tennis Federation’s medical staff to determine the effect this injury may have on him.

    Vamos Rafa!”
    Strange he hasn’t had it checked out already by his personal doctor. I guess he knows what he is doing. I guess we will know soon enough.

    • cookie says:

      Hope the lower right abdominal pain isn’t appendicitis! It will be a relief when he finally has it checked out. Hooray for Spain in the Davis Cup finals now! :D

  2. Atch2 says:

    Those r the best looking cheerleaders I’ve ever seen, esp the one in the front left with the white cap *wink wink* with the Rafadorable smile.

    (El Toro cap now comes in Blk/Wht? Cool)

    Looking at the other clips in the rvte site, u can see the whole Spanish Armada is there, incl Nando and Roig. Are they the best looking Davis Cup team or what?!

    Goodluck for the rest of the matches.

  3. dutchgirl says:

    I just hope he doesn’t overload his abdominal any more by cheering too enthousiastic…

  4. CC says:

    Rafa and Tommy manwich… Oh. Yes. Please.

  5. tiemyshoe says:

    I really want a highlights reel of Rafa’s reactions on the bench. Anyone?

  6. faeaki 7 says:

    Glad Rafa was allowed to go this time, he really gets inspired by the Davis cup it must have been hard for him not to play but they have en0ugh great players to beat Israel.. and definately the most handsome of course.!

  7. Atch2 says:

    From an article by Iain Rogers

    “Spain would have the advantage of playing the Czechs at home but would have to play away if the Croats progressed.”

    I’m now officially cheering for the Czechs to beat Croatia.

  8. Carol says:

    Also see: http://www.rtve.es/mediateca/videos/20090918/nadal-verdasco-junto-armada/588318.shtml

    More from Rosana. The locker room celebration scene is to die for :-))

    Hope Rafa didn’t tweak his ab jumping up and down to the Ferru celebration!!

  9. miri says:

    A fan report from yesterday’s Spain/Israel DC match: http://bit.ly/2aInW

    And, the the guys watching basketball.

    • Atch2 says:

      That basketball game seemed to bore the daylights out of everybody, or maybe they were just tired. Would’ve luved to be sitting in the middle of it though.

      Grt report from the Davis Cup, especially hearing abt all the Rafaness. Luved the nicely folded white polo on his lap. Mama Nadal would be proud.

      • CC says:

        Heh, Rafa looks sweetly camp in that basketball photo.
        BTW, love what he’s wearing there. Really cute stripy top and jeans that…ahem…cling to the correcto places. I could have picked that outfit for you, my dear Rafa.
        Unfortunately, I didn’t.

    • Carol says:

      Aargh, Rafa! biting and popping your blisters is not the way to sort them out – it’s the best way to get an infection, believe me :-(

      You need to use those hands. You don’t need more pain so Stop It NOW!

      Great report and love the bit about the white polo

    • Carol says:

      Hee, heee, heee…get a group of guys together to watch a game, any game and the room immediately becomes a total mess: cushions here, there and everywhere, beers, crisps, feet up on the table…
      All that’s missing are the take-away containers! ROFL! ;-)

      Is Rafa sitting on a hard chair so as not to tweak his abs, I wonder? He looks very pensive here.

      And the waiter in the background having a sneaky peekie…

  10. Atch2 says:

    Hope the players will get a say where to play the Finals. Maybe it will be in a bullring again coz that looked awesome, and intimdating for the opponents.

  11. faeaki 7 says:

    Yeah I remember the ball ring last year in ~Sept tie v.Usa Rafa was awsome, once he got used to the altitude lol..
    He said it was one of his best experiences on a tennis court! and did it show!
    I watched the doubles match this aftern0on and the camera’s were allways on Rafa, it must have been hard not being able to have taken part, he is soo passionate about his country!
    David and Feliciano always seem to make it and Robredo put in a great show today.
    Ferrero is always a good addition, and he is playing well this year!
    This is good news for Rafa that they are in the finals and hopefully he will get the chance to take his team to victory on the clay courts of Espania!

  12. An says:

    Congratulations Spain!!

    Well done, i had no time this weekend at all to follow this, busy,busy,busy…
    So thanks for all the news you guys posted here so that i could be up-to-date verry fast!

    Rafa looks as cute, handsome, cuddly and so on, and so on as he ever does! Hoping that het recieves good news about his ab!

    • An says:

      Oh and i forgot!

      Lets all think positive and focus on Rafa playing in the final, i wouldnt miss that for the world!!

  13. miri says:

    Trio of Spanish cities bidding to host Davis Cup final – I hadn’t realized they were playing the final on my birthday weekend!

    • CC says:

      Madrid, Malaga or Barcelona- there are cheap Easyjet flights to all three cities from Gatwick, so any of the three is fine with me. And even if Rafa’s not playing, he’ll more than likely be in the crowd, so it’s a win-win situation. I can’t see a reason not to go, no? As long as I can sit next to the Spanish armada, that is… ;)

      • miri says:

        I wish there were cheap flights from Texas…*sigh* But…it would be nice b-day present to myself, no? ;)

        Even if Rafa isn’t playing, the atmosphere should be fantastic. I’ve always wanted to see a DC final in person.

        • CC says:

          You should treat yourself! It’s only your birthday once a year, no?

          I’ve just realised that I think I’m in Germany that weekend. Baaad timing, as always.

          • miri says:

            Hey, no need to go to Germany to avoid meeting me. I’m sure it will be at a big stadium and the chances of running across each other low. ;) (As if I’m going to go any way!)

            Seriously, though, I hope it’s not in Madrid. We know how Rafa feels about that altitude.

            • CC says:

              Heh, you will go and I will sit and cry at a rainy Christmas market in Aachen. No fun. But to make up, I AM going to Rafaisland soon…

              If they decide on Madrid, they’ll have to play indoors, no? Has la caja magica got a roof?

              • Atch2 says:

                They have a fancy lid for that stadium. They better have red clay and normal ballkids, or else Rafa’s not gonna have his happy face on.

                • An says:

                  Awwww. Why that weekend???:( I’d hoped it would be a week early’er… In this weekend BF has his birthday, now he’s totally ok with me being Rafobssesed but i guess going to see real Rafa on his birthday would be pushing my luck, no?

                  I would have loved to go and meat Miri and CC and the others tough!!!

                  • CC says:

                    Me too, An.

                    If the magic box has a lid on it, then they’ll probably go for Madrid, what with all the Olympics 2016 and that as well.

  14. mary says:

    Just thought I’d add what the official site had to say about Rafa’s progress with his ab problemo. And yes we are none the wiser.
    http://www.rafaelnadal.com/nadal/en/news

  15. mary says:

    I don’t know if anyone watched the czech republic matches. Spain will be truly challanged in the final. The czech has a huge fan following at Madrid where they played & on clay.
    Stepanek v Kalovic match would equal the best matches ever played. It went for 5 hours & 58 minutes. Karlovic hit an all time record or 78 aces & still lost the match. Stefanek came back the same day I was told & won the doubles with Berdych. I didn’t see either match live but a replay. The singles match blew me away.
    You see I love the game ‘tennis’. I’m not one for putting blinkers on just to one country because of one man. I abso f*****g lutely love our man, but only him. If that puts a thorn in your undies, so be it, I don’t give a shit!!!!!! But Spain will have its work cut out when the two countries meet.

    • miri says:

      I thought they played in Porec, Croatia. The Stepanek v. Karlovic match was crazy, but for me, it can’t count as one of the best ever because I don’t care for big serve tennis. Berdych also played a long singles match – so very impressive that the both of them came back to win doubles the next day (not the same day).

      And I don’t see any reason to attack people and assume they don’t like tennis in general. I just only post about a certain country because it’s a Nadal site, not a tennis site.

      • mary says:

        Yes, my mistake, it was Porec, Croatia. Hopefully now we can get back to discussing our man then as this is a Nadal site & yeah you are right it is not a tennis site including a Davis cup site if you wanna nit pic.
        Muchas gracias

      • mary says:

        Also it wasn’t about the big serve, as Stepanek bet Karlovic & his serve.

  16. Atch2 says:

    Great summary of Rafa’s participation in the Davis Cup in
    http://www.vamosbrigade.com/

    • mary says:

      Oh god doesn’t Rafa & Feli look like twins!!!! Pleaaaaaaaaaase bring back the long hair. I won’t even bring up the length of the sleeves, promise. :-)

  17. Atch2 says:

    2010 Davis Cup draws have been done. Spain play Switzerland in the frist round:

    http://www.daviscup.com/news/newsarticle.asp?articleid=16324

    Interesting.