Oct 2, 2008

Davis Cup 2008 final: Argentina picks indoor arena to blunt the dominance of Rafael Nadal on clay

As expected, Argentina nominates a fast indoor arena to host the Davis Cup tennis final against Spain to blunt the clay-court dominance of top-ranked Rafael Nadal.

The Argentine tennis association nominated Cordoba's Estadio Orfeo as its first choice for the final, with Mar del Plata's Islas Malvinas stadium as its second option.

However, there is a problem.

Argentina's bid to host the Davis Cup final against Spain on indoor carpet will only be accepted if the country's tennis federation selects a venue that meets stringent crowd capacity requirements,
International Tennis Federation (ITF) officials said.

And the Cordoba's Orfeo Stadium falls short of the 12,000-seating capacity required by the ITF to host a final.

Argentina have never hosted a Davis Cup tie on any surface except clay, but captain Alberto Mancini had made it clear immediately after their 3-2 semi-final win over Russia that he would prefer to play on carpet.

That is a nod to the talent of Spain's Rafael Nadal, who has 123 of his last 126 matches on clay.

A Cordoba final would also satisfy the wishes of David Nalbandian to play in his home province.
"Cordoba has the best conditions compared with the others," Nalbandian said last week.

"I was born in this province so I would love to play here, but there are a lot of other factors to be considered and we are working to choose the right option."
Argentina are hosting the Davis Cup final for the first time.

They finished as runners-up in the tournament in 1981 and 2006, losing 3-1 to the United States and 3-2 to Russia respectively.

(Via The Canadian Press, sportinglife.com, Image via Davis Cup official website)

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