11/20/12 3:54 PM | Johan Lindahl
Spanish captain Alex Corretja has swallowed the disappointment of the Davis Cup finals loss to the Czech Republic, with the skipper insisting that he's make the same team selection again.
As predicted by Tomas Berdych before the Prague tie, No. 11 Spaniard Nicolas Almagro proved to be the weak link, losing both of his singles ties.
His concluding loss against Radek Stepanek in five sets was enough to send the Czechs onto an historic victory.
Corretja made no apologies while saying that he expects to have top Spanish players Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer available to 2013 play in the worldwide team competition.
"As captain I try to cope with the situation as best I can and in the end we fought as hard as we could to win a final that eluded us by a tiny, tiny margin," he told Spanish radio Cadena Ser. "If we played Czech Republic again tomorrow I would choose the same four players."
Bad blood was said to have been averted after hard-courter Feliciano Lopez was left off the side in favour of clay-based Almagro, who lost his way on the fast surface laid down by the hosts. Lopez, wearing librarian glasses, sat with the support team during the entire weekend.
"I don't think I made a mistake and I don't think we lost the tie because Nico Almagro played," said the captain. "Having seen the way Almagro played on Friday (loss to Berdych) I still believe that he was the right person to play the final rubber. Who knows if a different player would have been any better? Nobody.
"I am a fan of Feliciano Lopez in the sense that he has given a huge amount to the Davis Cup team."
Lopez remains puzzled by his exclusion. "Alex is there to take these kinds of decisions, they are not easy and you have to respect them. But on a technical level I don't understand it," he added. "I thought I was going to play because this surface suits me very well."
Spain had been bidding for a fifth title in six years of Davis Cup play. The Czechs won their first as a new nation only two decades old. "Obviously when Rafa recovers from his (knee) injury and he's available I'll be delighted," Corretja said.
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