Nadal returns for Spain vs. Ukraine in Davis Cup
MADRID (AP) - Rafael Nadal will play in the Davis Cup for Spain next week for the first time since winning the 2011 final.
He will team with Tommy Robredo, Fernando Verdasco and Marc Lopez for the World Group playoff against Ukraine at Madrid's Caja Magica from Sept. 13.
Nadal last played for Spain in December 2011, when he won the fourth and final point of the Davis Cup final against Argentina in Seville, earning Spain its fifth title. Nadal's absence has been due in part to a knee injury that sidelined him for seven months last season.
Spain captain Alex Corretja says on Tuesday it will be a pleasure to have Nadal back as he always spreads "vitality and optimism'' to his teammates.
The defending champion Czech Republic will be represented by Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, who will team up for the first time this year in next week's semifinal against Argentina.
Berdych, who faced Stanislas Wawrinka in the U.S. Open fourth round late Tuesday, missed the 3-1 quarterfinal victory at Kazakhstan due to an injury. And an injury prevented Stepanek from playing in the first-round 3-2 win at Switzerland.
Lukas Rosol, Jiri Vesely, Jan Hajek are also on the squad announced on Tuesday for the Sept 13-15 tie on indoor hard court at Prague's O2 Arena. Berdych and Stepanek played all five rubbers when the Czechs beat Spain 3-2 in the final last November in Prague.
In their last encounter with Argentina, the Czechs won 3-2 in Buenos Aires in the semis last year.