There may be doubts about the fitness and quality of form of Rafael Nadal heading into the Davis Cup final, but Spain are still worthy favourites to triumph over Argentina.
Spain are 1/6 in the tennis odds to beat Argentina and given the concerns over Spain’s star man, this may be regarded by some to be too short a price.
Nadal lost two of his three matches at the recent ATP World Tour Finals and would have endured a clean sweep of defeats had he not squeezed through a final-set tie-break with Mardy Fish.
However, there has arguably never been a better clay-court player than the current world number two and the surface is arguably the main reason why Spain are such short-priced favourites.
The fact that the final of the team event in on clay is a massive advantage to Spain, given that it is considered the worst surface for Argentina’s leading player Juan Martin del Potro.
Not only is the final on clay, but it is also held in Spain and the last time that the nation lost a Davis Cup encounter on home soil was back in 1999 against Brazil.
Another factor that appears to be in Spain’s favour is that they enjoy a 3-0 head-to-head record over Argentina in previous Davis Cup meetings, with easily the most notable of these coming in the final of 2008.
On that occasion Spain were not only without an injured Nadal, but they also triumphed 3-1 on a less favourable hard court in Argentina.
Meanwhile, Nadal has also vowed to be mentally strong as he bids to represent his country following revelations after his defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in London that he was losing passion for the game.
All things considered, it is clear to see why Spain are 1/6 to claim a fifth Davis Cup victory since 2000.