Spain quietly confident for France Davis Cup semis


Spain coach Albert Costa says his team is favorite to win the Davis Cup semi-final against France this week but will still have “to prove it on the court.” “We are playing at home and the ranking of our players says that we are favorities,” he was quoted as saying on the Spanish tennis federation’s website Tuesday.
“We have better players than France, but all that means nothing if we don’t prove it on court.” Spain, represented by Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco, David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez, meets the France team of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra for the semi-final from Friday in the southern city of Cordoba. But France will be without its number one player, Gael Monfils, who is injured. “I think that the France team will miss Gael Monfils… But they will still have a great team, with very competitive players and it promises to be a very difficult semi-final.” The tie will be played on clay, the Spanish players’ favorite surface. “It’s very hot so the balls bounce more, which is what we want,” said Verdasco after his first training session on the courts in Cordoba. France beat Spain 5-0 in the quarter-finals in Clermont-Ferrand last year before losing in the final to Serbia.