Spain pegged as favourite in Davis Cup semi-finals
US coach Patrick McEnroe and tennis legend Bjorn Borg peg Spain as the likely favourite to beat US.17 April 2008
MADRID - Despite the fact that it was the United States which booted Spain from the Davis Cup quarterfinals in 2007, both US coach Patrick McEnroe and tennis legend Bjorn Borg peg Rafael Nadal's team as the likely favourite to overcome the reigning champions when they meet in September.
"In the Davis Cup semi-finals, Spain plays against the United States, and Argentina against Russia. I think that Spain and Argentina will make it to the final," said the Swedish former player.
Patrick McEnroe explained that playing on Spain's "slow" clay courts is "the top challenge," although he added, "I think we can do it. Obviously, we're the underdog but we have a lot of experience now."
The United States' top racquet Andy Roddick admitted that travelling to Spain was a challenge, adding: "I know we're not gonna be the favourites, but we're gonna go and we're gonna try."
Despite these dour projections, the United States holds a 5-3 advantage over Spain in the Cup.
However, the last time the two faced off in Spain in 2004, it was the home team that took the title.
Over the weekend's quarterfinals matches, Spain overcame Germany 4-1, while the United States defeated France by the same score.
Home court advantage
At the Valencia Open, Spain's Fernando Verdasco beat Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti yesterday 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to join compatriots Tommy Robredo, Nicolás Almagro and David Ferrer in the tournament second round.
[El Pais / K. R. / Expatica]