x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Nalbandian sorry for injured Nadal

David Nalbandian is sorry that Rafael Nadal is not featuring in the Davis Cup final but he still thinks Spain will be a tough test.

David Nalbandian wanted Rafael Nadal to play in the Davis Cup final for Spain - but he is not going to complain about anything that boosts Argentina's chances of lifting the trophy for the first time. Tendinitis forced the world No 1 to pull out of this weekend's showdown in Mar del Plata, the first time Argentina will host the final. "I wanted Nadal to be in this final," Nalbandian said. "He is a friend of mine and missing this decisive chance is not nice at all. Now, things have changed a little bit, but we are focused on doing our best no matter which rival we play against.

"These five matches we are playing this weekend are very important for all the effort and sacrifice we've made in the Davis Cup." The captain Alberto Mancini thinks one of the keys to beating the Spaniards will be "not relaxing because Spain, even without Nadal, are a very strong team". "The guys are very motivated. All the rubbers are possible to be won because we are playing very well," he added. The world No 9 Juan Martin del Potro, 20, is getting used to the indoor carpet of the Estadio Islas Malvinas following his arrival in Mar del Plata.

The final follows on from his first appearance at the Masters Cup in Shanghai. "The trip has been long, but I feel fine," he said. He is suffering some problems with his toenails, and told the Ole newspaper: "I am using creams and some painkillers but I will do my best in each match. "If I have to be given an injection, I will do so. I want to go on holidays with the cup." * PA Sport