The Reuters global sports blog
Spain got the draw they wanted for the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic, with Rafa Nadal to get the tie underway at 1600 GMT on Friday with his singles match against Thomas Berdych on Friday.
It has been, to say the least, a testing time for Nadal of late, with the Spaniard having to fight his way back from an injury that kept him out of Wimbledon and wrecked his chances of finishing the season as world number one.
At the ATP world finals in London last week he lost all three of his matches without winning a set and watching him train here in Barcelona he appears to have lost a little weight, which may or may no account for the fact that those booming groundstrokes result in rather fewer winners these days.
Still, here in Barcelona Nadal is back on clay and it’s hard to imagine the man form Mallorca failing to beat Berdych and giving Spain the start they want.