The last few years haven’t been great for the Spanish teams in the Davis Cup. For a country that has ten top 100 players in their ranks, their record in recent years has been quite dreadful. They last reached a semi final in 2012 while this year they were ousted by Serbia. And one notable absentee has enraged quite a few members of the Spanish team. So why is the Spanish Davis Cup team unhappy with Rafael Nadal?
The Spanish team has notoriously had several absentees in their Davis Cup sides which has contributed to their under performances in recent years. This has not pleased the Spanish tennis federation as it sets a bad example for all those players who desperately try to enter the Davis Cup squad.
This is what the chief of the Spanish Federation of Tennis, Miguel Diaz said on the topic of players refusing to play for Spain in the Davis Cup matches.
‘This is an individual sport, different than the national competitions, where every player decides what’s best for him. The tie (against Serbia) was played in the middle between the end of the hard-court season and the start of the clay season, and it wasn’t the best week to convince them. We thought that everyone would have been available, though.’
Diaz also spoke about Rafael Nadal’s refusal to play the matches. Interestingly Nadal has only played in three Davis Cup ties since 2012 which caused resentment among many of his teammates in the national set up.
‘To be honest, when there isn’t Rafa, some players are bothered by it and don’t play. Every player has his own ego. But Nadal must be forgiven always! He gives us so much. He is our best promotion. He sells more tennis, thanks to him we did much and we can’t always expect something from him. You cannot reproach him. If [tennis] schools are packed it’s thank to him.’
While Diaz does have a point that Nadal does so much for Spanish tennis, he must not be too lenient on the Spanish superstar as he then risks having more than one absentee in the matches.
Nadal is the biggest draw in Spanish tennis which is why he gets away with most things. But maybe Nadal should consider playing in more matches as he has only rarely done so in the last five years. It would also set a great example for all those young Spanish players who want the become ‘The Next Rafael Nadal’.