All is not well with Spanish tennis, says Rafael Nadal

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National pride: Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal admits that “things aren’t looking very well” for Spain in the Davis Cup this year, implying a promotion back into the World Group may not be in the cards.

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 The Spaniard was not keen on discussing details of the problems the players are having with their federation, who surprised the team by appointing ex-WTA player Gala Leon as the new captain replacing Carlos Moya.

The players, who felt they weren’t consulted before the decision was made, were then accused of being sexist, with allegations that they are against Leon’s appointment because she is a woman, but Nadal and his team-mates hit out at such accusations, saying they were false and that the federation and Leon were inciting controversy that does not exist.

.@RafaelNadal is making his way to the clinic court! Come down to watch him at the #MWTC Tennis Village! pic.twitter.com/l5gv45Jm3a

 Spain, who had dominated Davis Cup since the turn of the century, winning the title five times in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, but suffered a shock relegation at the hands of Brazil last year.

They have a bye in the first round of the Group I this season, and will face either Russia or Denmark away in the second round in July.

Nadal refused to say he is committed to playing that tie and feels the circumstances are lined up against Spain to have a successful campaign in the inter-nation competition this year.

“A lot of controversy, a lot of people saying things that were completely not true,” Nadal told reporters in Abu Dhabi ahead of his opening match in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday.

“It’s difficult to say things about that. But seriously, it’s not the ideal situation for nobody at the end. Because when nobody is happy, when the federation is not happy with the players, when the players aren’t happy with the federation. When nobody is happy with nobody then the situations are a little bit more difficult to make the right process, to try to be back in the World Group.

“But somebody chose that way. Just accept that.

“My plan to play in Davis Cup… I’m here in Abu Dhabi, we don’t have Davis Cup until July and it’s difficult for me to say yes or no. Because I really don’t know and now I really don’t care much. I’m worried about other things.”

Asked how confident he was that Spain can overcome such off-court drama and get back to top flight, he said: “Things aren’t looking very well. We have a tough rival, probably will be Russia, but either way it will be outside (away). It won’t be easy. Even playing with the best players in our country it won’t be an easy confrontation. I don’t know if these situations are ideal ones to have all the implication that the competition needs to be back in the World Group.”

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