World number two Rafael Nadal will be the most notable absentee from the Spanish Davis Cup team that will start its defense of the crown against Kazakhstan in the Spanish city of Oviedo, where new captain Alex Corretja will have to field a new look side.
Corretja, who was appointed as the captain of the Spanish side after their win in the Davis Cup final last December against Argentina will not have any of the players who helped Spain lift the crown last year at his disposal.
Whereas Nadal has decided to rest ahead of the Indian Wells ATP Championships in California in March, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco as well as Feliciano Lopez have all pulled out of the tie citing fitness issues and fatigue in an Olympic Games year.
In the absence of all these star names, Corretja will have to count on veteran star Juan Carlos Ferrero and world number eleven Nicolas Almagro, who did not feature for Spain in any of their Davis Cup ties last year to pull through the match against Kazakhstan. However, Corretja believes that the absence of Rafael Nadal and the other stars from the lineup will not affect the Spanish side much as their reserves also have the capabilities to pull through the tie quite easily.
Juan Carlos Ferrero has been a former champion at the French Open and was one of the players who started the Spanish Revolution in the world of tennis long before Nadal had made a name for himself in the circuit. However, Rafael Nadal will be at court side, taking time out from his practice sessions in Mallorca to support the side as they attempt to add a sixth Davis Cup crown to their cabinet, with all five of their titles won after the turn of the millennium.