Spain, with four titles and five finals disputed, is the most awarded Davis Cup team in the 21st century (He also won a Salad Bowl in 2000). Endless successes spread across generations of brilliant players, such as the Ferrero-Moyá-Corretja and the Nadal-Ferrer-Verdasco-Feliciano, which will now be continued by a balanced block of young talents and more experienced rackets. With the intention of defend the crown of the current champion of the competition (2019), Spain places its trust in a team that we analyze below.
Spain: players and captain
It should be noted that, except for Reef Nadal (he will not be able to compete due to his left foot injury) and Roberto Bautista (abdominal injury in the days prior to the start of the tournament) three of the five tennis players who were champions in 2019 repeat the call by Sergi Bruguera, captain of the Spanish team. If we stick to the ATP ranking, the number 1 of the Spanish team, before the unexpected loss of a Bautista who in 2019 was key in the final against Canada by winning his match in singles, it will be Pablo Carreño (20th). The Asturian has signed a remarkable season, in which he has broken down several barriers. He has won two trophies in 2021, with Hamburg being the first ATP 500 tournament on his record. As if that were not enough, he touched the sky at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the bronze medal against Novak Djokovic himself. On the big stages, as shown by its two US Open semifinals (2017 and 2020), it tends to grow.
The second in contention is undoubtedly one of the greatest attractions of the entire Davis Cup Finals. Is about Carlos Alcaraz placeholder image (32º), number 3 of the Spanish team, who will try to replace with honors a Nadal who already shone at the age of Murcia in his first Davis Cup appearance back in 2004, against the Czech Republic. Juan Carlos Ferrero’s pupil has many ballots to play a singles match and continue adding experiences in a year in which, whatever happens here, it will be historic for him. His tennis is pure dynamite and the fast court suits his direct play very well, as we saw in the recent NextGen Finals (hard court and indoor, as in Madrid) where he was proclaimed champion.
As a replacement for Bautista, he joined the Army expedition in Davis Albert Ramos (45º), with the role of third sword for Bruguera. A priori, with the absences of Nadal and Rober, the most normal thing is that individual matches are the task of Carreño and Alcaraz, players who, due to their style of play, offer more guarantees than the Catalan. However, Ramos comes from signing a very respectable year on clay, his great specialty, being one of the tennis players with the most victories on that surface (balance of 19-11) this season. Conditions in Madrid will be totally opposite, but Ramos offers guarantees thanks to his extensive experience in the elite.
Last but not least, the pair that, a priori, will fight for the points of each tie in the doubles match. Two historical ones, like Feliciano lopez (106th, four-time Davis champion) and Marcel Granollers (without individual ranking, two-time champion) will be in charge of beating the copper as a couple to win a point that is usually decisive in this competition. The man from Toledo has experience and knows what it means to win titles in this discipline, but the Catalan is a true specialist and one of the best doubles players on the planet (7th in this ranking), as shown by his numerous titles in Masters 1,000.
Frame and rivals
Spain will play the group stage or round robin at Group A, where he must be measured with one of the cinderellas of the tournament, Ecuador, and with another of the great favorites and superpower of tennis today, the Russian Federation.
In case of going to the quarterfinals as first in the group, fulfilling the difficult task of beating a Russian team formed by Medvedev, Rublev, Karatsev y Khachanov, Spain would be located at the top of the table to face one of the two best seconds of the group stage. In case of going to the quarterfinals as one of the two best seconds, Spain could be placed at that same point, presumably to face the Russian Federation, or go to the bottom of the table to measure with the Group B winner (view image), which could be Canada, Sweden or Kazakhstan.
Friday, November 26
Spain vs Ecuador: at 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 28
Spain vs Russian Federation: not before 16:00