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04 February 2010

History gives Spain advantage over Aussies


NEWS ARTICLE

By 

  • Craig Gabriel

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)

Australia and Spain meet for the tenth time in Fed Cup by BNP Paribas and going into this weekend in World Group II competition, Spain, the visiting nation, holds a commanding 7-2 advantage.

The last time the two nations met in Australia was back in July 1997 when Spain, led by Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, was victorious on the Gold Coast.

Since then they have faced one another twice, both times in Spain, and both times Spain came away with wins. In fact, since losing their first two ties against Australia, the Spaniards have won the last seven.

Now, on the hard courts of Adelaide at the famed venue on Memorial Drive where the Australian Championships was last played in 1968 on grass, the home side is looking to end its run of losses against Spain.

“I’m excited about the weekend and I think it’s an evenly matched tie,” Australian captain David Taylor said. “We have the highest ranked player in Sam (Stosur) but it’s going to be very close and we have great doubles pairings as well for the last match.”

Samantha Stosur, at a career high ranking of No. 11, will lead the Aussies and plays the first match of the weekend against Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez who she has lost to twice, most recently at the Hopman Cup last month.

The second singles has Casey Dellacqua, on the comeback trail after having shoulder surgery this time last year, up against Anabel Medina Garrigues. Their only meeting was in Hobart two years ago and was won by the Australian.

Day two will start with Stosur against Medina Garrigues and their head to head is locked at one-all. It will be followed by Dellacqua and Martinez Sanchez, that’s a first time meeting.

The weekend will close out with the doubles rubber that sees Rennae Stubbs and Alicia Molik playing Nuria Llagostera Vives and Carla Suarez Navarro.

“We have in front a very difficult tie against Australia at home on the surface they prefer in front of a crowd that will help them, but we have been preparing for the last two weeks and we hope to win this important tie to get back in the world division,” Spanish captain Miguel Margets Lobato said.

Full draw

Saturday - Play starts at 18:00 (07:30 GMT)

  • Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
  • Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)

    Sunday - Play starts at 16:00 (05:30 GMT)

  • Samantha Stosur (AUS) v Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP)
  • Casey Dellacqua (AUS) v Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP)
  • Alicia Molik / Rennae Stubbs (AUS) v Nuria Llagostera Vives / Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)


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