NEW DELHI: In a slight boost for India's chances in the Davis Cup World Group Play-off against Spain, star visiting player Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the opening singles tie due to a stomach upset.
Nadal's pulling out means that Ramkumar Ramanathan will now take on Feliciano Lopez in the opening match of the Davis Cup tie at the DLTA Stadium later in the day.
The second singles of the tie will be between Saketh Myneni and world number 13 David Ferrer, according to the draw announced by the International Tennis Federation yesterday.
On the second day tomorrow, the experienced Leander Paes will pair up with Saketh to face French Open champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.
The reverse singles will be played on Sunday.
The pulling out of Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam singles winner, is a huge dampener for the tennis fans in the Capital who turned up in huge numbers to watch the Spaniard in action.
India had beaten Korea 4-1 in their Asia/Oceania Group I second round tie while Spain defeated Romania with the same margin in their Europe/Africa zonal tie.
India and Spain have locked horns thrice so far in Davis Cup with the European nation leading the head-to-head record 2-1. The last time India played Spain was as far back as 1965 when they lost the away tie 2-3.