Corretja admits Spain are underdogs

Spain captain Alex Corretja insists his players should not be regarded as favourites to triumph in this weekend's Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic.

Tennis News: Alex Corretja, Spain

Home court advantage counts for much in this competition, and while Spain are the reigning champions and have won the Davis Cup five times already this century - including a 2009 win against the Czechs - Corretja insists that illustrious history will count for little in front of a partisan crowd at Prague's 02 Arena.

Corretja's cautious tone has no doubt been exacerbated by the ongoing absence of the injured Rafael Nadal, although the skipper says victory remains the only target despite being shorn of the team's talisman.

"We're here to win; we didn't come here to lose," Corretja told daviscup.com.

"But we need to do very well and I believe our opponents, playing at home, are favourites."

The Czechs' top player, Tomas Berdych, agrees that Spain's 5-0 win over his country in the final in Barcelona three years ago means little heading into the re-match.

"For the final in Barcelona we were in completely a different position and all that was against us is now going to be on our side," said Berdych.

"It's still on us players to go there and fight for the three points [that would secure victory]. We will do everything we possibly can."

Spain's leading light in the absence of Nadal is David Ferrer, who will contest the opening rubber against Radek Stepanek after the draw for the final was made in central Prague earlier on Thursday.

The second singles match sees Berdych take on Nicolas Almagro, who is bullish about his country's chances.

"It's one of the most important weeks of the year," said Almagro.

"I think we are ready to fight and try to win the Davis Cup and we will know that will not be easy.

"We had a really good season and we are going to do our best on court."

Thursday's draw also saw Czech duo Ivo Minar and Lukas Rosol selected to play ATP World Tour Finals champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in Saturday's doubles.

However, Czech captain Jaroslav Navratil is widely expected to instead select Berdych and Stepanek for the doubles, with the pair boasting an enviable record of just one defeat in 12 Davis Cup rubbers together.

In Sunday's reverse singles, Berdych is due to face Ferrer and Stepanek to meet Almagro.

This weekend's tie represents the 100th staging of the Davis Cup final, adding extra spice to the contest for both teams, but Corretja claims his players are not being distracted by the milestone.

"It would be unbelievable to win the 100th one," he said.

"It would be very nice again to see Spain win in the 100th in history, but we don't feel more pressure."



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