Davis Cup - Nadal ready to empty tank to help Spain stay in top tier

A tired Rafael Nadal is ready to give his all for Spain in this weekend's Davis Cup playoff against Ukraine after a draining US Open brought him his 13th grand slam title.

Reuters
Davis Cup - Nadal ready to empty tank to help Spain stay in top tier
.

View photo

Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with his trophy after winning the men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the U.S. Open (Reuters)

With his country's elite World Group status in the balance, Nadal is ready to put his aching limbs on the line just days after beating world number one Novak Djokovic at Flushing Meadows to win his second major of the year.

"We change the surface in a short time and I have just made a big effort but I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team," Nadal told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the tie in Madrid.

"If it is on Friday it would be on Friday, if it is on Saturday, on Saturday, if it is on Sunday, on Sunday. I'm going to try to help with everything within my capabilities."

The Mallorcan's victory in New York capped a stunning year in which he returned from a seven-month injury absence to re-assert himself as a dominant force in the game.

Since re-emerging at a low-key claycourt tournament in Chile in February, the Spaniard has been virtually unstoppable.

Having won the French Open for a record eighth time, Nadal put a disappointing Wimbledon behind him to dominate on the hard courts and move to within four majors of Roger Federer's record haul of 17.

Any thoughts of a relaxing break have had to be put on the backburner, however, as duty calls him back to court to help keep his country in tennis's top tier.

After an under-strength Spain lost to Canada in the Davis Cup first round, they find themselves in unfamiliar territory having only competed in four playoffs in the last 17 years.

Nadal reacted tetchily to suggestions that he could be below par after his recent exertions.

"I've just said it. (I feel) well," he added. "I've got good feelings. What do you want me to say after having winning three tournaments in a row, my feelings couldn't be better."

With home advantage and Nadal's favourite red clay under foot, Spain, whose lineup also includes Tommy Robredo and Fernando Verdasco, should have the edge over a Ukraine team with only one player, Alexandr Dolgopolov, in the world's top 50.

View comments (9)
  • Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Bell steers England to victory, hosts take 2-1 Ashes lead

    Ian Bell guided England to an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the third test at Edgbaston on Friday to put the hosts 2-1 up in the series with two matches to play. Bell (65 not out) and Joe Root, with an unbeaten 38, anchored the chase after England were set to 121 to win on the third day at Edgbaston where a dominant performance banished memories of a heavy defeat at Lord's. England lost Alastair Cook (7) and Adam Lyth (12) to set a few nerves on edge but Bell, dropped on 20 by Australia captain Michael Clarke, made his second 50 of the match to spark raucous celebrations after Root hit the winning runs. More »

    Reuters - 4 hours ago
  • Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Lambert leaves Liverpool to join West Brom

    Liverpool offload Rickie Lambert after just one unproductive season at Anfield More »

    Reuters - 3 hours ago
  • Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Serie A - Confusion as Stevan Jovetic joins Inter

    Inter Milan have signed Stevan Jovetic from Manchester City, although there were conflicting reports as to whether it was a loan or permanent switch. More »

    Eurosport - 4 hours ago
  • Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem investigate

    Can we ever trust Fifa again? Who replaces Sepp Blatter? These key questions and more are answered on this week's episode of The Rail, as Spencer is joined by football writer Jonathan Wilson and Copa90's Eli Mengem. More »

    Copa90 - 4 hours ago
  • No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    No snow no problem as China's financial might lands 2022 Games

    The snow will be fake, but the very real financial muscle China boasts proved decisive on Friday when Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Games officials meeting in Kuala Lumpur voted for the Chinese capital over the lure of a winter wonderland offering from Kazakhstan's Almaty, in a clear sign that the International Olympic Committee is craving solidity and security after a series of problems and headaches. While Rio scrambles to make up lost time in its building for the 2016 Olympics, and Tokyo is embroiled in a stadium drama the allure of a megacity with a cast-iron financial guarantee proved irresistible. More »

    Reuters - 6 hours ago