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Nadal leads Spain vs Argentina in Davis Cup final

- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MADRID (AP) - Rafael Nadal will lead Spain in the Davis Cup final against Argentina, which will count on Juan Martin del Potro and David Nalbandian to lead the South Americans to a first title in their fourth attempt.

The second-ranked Nadal helped Spain beat France 4-1 in the semifinals to set up the Dec. 2-4 final on the hosts' favored clay surface at Olympic Stadium in Seville.

Fifth-ranked David Ferrer will play singles alongside Nadal, while Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco are expected to play doubles. Spain captain Albert Costa also included recent Valencia Open winner Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez as playing partners.

Along with 11th-ranked Del Potro and Nalbandian, Argentina's roster includes Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela and Eduardo Schwank. Captain Tito Vazquez will need to trim his team to four players before the Dec. 1 draw.

The Argentines beat Serbia, led by an injured Novak Djokovic, 3-2 in Belgrade in the semifinals.

Spain has won 20 straight series at home since losing to Brazil in 1999. On clay, Nadal and Ferrer are a combined 25-0.

The final is a repeat of the 2008 final, when Spain won 3-2 on a hard indoor surface in Argentina despite missing Nadal because of injury.

"When we went to Mar del Plata, the Argentine public was absolutely belligerent," Spain's Costa said Tuesday. "I'm not going to ask the Spanish fans to repeat that belligerence. But they do need to be passionate and show fire in defending the Spanish team, because that will be a prime factor if we want to win."

Spain is vying for its fifth title since 2000 and third in four seasons. Argentina was runner-up in 1981 and 2006.

Spain begin training in Seville on Saturday. Nadal and Ferrer will join the team after the ATP World Tour Finals. Argentina has already started practicing on clay in Buenos Aires.

Nadal helped Spain beat the United States to capture the 2004 title at Olympic Stadium.

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