Nadal leads Spain in Davis Cup play-offs

Fresh from winning his 13th Grand Slam title at the US Open, Rafael Nadal will lead Spain in their Davis Cup World Group play-off against Ukraine this weekend.

Nadal leads Spain in Davis Cup play-offs
Nadal is congratulated by his teammates after his victory against Djokovic during their four Davis Cup match in 2009. Photo: Diego Tuson/AFP

The 27-year-old world number two, who has not played for Spain since their 2011 Davis Cup triumph against Argentina, will play on his favourite clay surface in the tie at Madrid's Caja Magica.

Nadal will face Sergiy Stakhovskiy in the second singles rubber on Friday, after Fernando Verdasco and Alexandr Dolgopolov meet in the first match.

Elsewhere, Andy Murray will make his Davis Cup return for Great Britain in their tie against Croatia.

The Wimbledon champion will face Borna Coric in the first singles rubber on Friday in Umag.

Roger Federer will not feature for Switzerland in their tie against Ecuador, but world number 10 Stanislas Wawrinka, a semi-finalist at the US Open last week, will feature for the Swiss.

Meanwhile, Philipp Kohlschreiber will play the opening rubber for hosts Germany in Friday's Davis Cup World Group play-off against Brazil's Rogerio Dutra Silva, ranked 102 places below the German.

The 29-year-old Kohlschreiber, 25th in the world, takes on the 127th-ranked Brazilian indoors on hard court in Ulm, south-west Germany, with Florian Mayer playing Thomaz Bellucci in Friday's second singles rubber.

And Poland will be without their leading player, 14th-ranked Jerzy Janowicz when they face an Australia team led by Lleyton Hewitt in Warsaw.

Davis Cup World Group play-offs this weekend:

At Madrid

Spain v Ukraine

At Groningen, Netherlands

Netherlands v Austria

At Umag, Croatia

Croatia v Great Britain

At Neuchatel, Switzerland

Switzerland v Ecuador

At Neu-Ulm, Germany

Germany v Brazil

At Warsaw

Poland v Australia

At Antwerp, Belgium

Belgium v Israel

At Tokyo

Japan v Colombia

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Injury-hit Rafa Nadal pulls out of US open

Reigning champion Rafael Nadal will miss the US Open later this month due to a right wrist injury, he announced on Monday.

Injury-hit Rafa Nadal pulls out of US open
A two-time champion in New York, Rafael Nadal also missed the tournament back in 2012 as he recovered from a knee injury. Photo: Carl Court/AFP

"I am very sorry to announce I won't be able to play at this year's US Open, a tournament in which I've played three consecutive finals in my last participations," he wrote on his official Facebook page on Monday.

A two-time champion in New York, Nadal also missed the tournament back in 2012 as he recovered from a knee injury.

"I am sure you understand that it is a very tough moment for me since it is a tournament I love and where I have great memories from fans, the night matches, so many things," he added.

"Not much more I can do right now, other than accept the situation and, as always in my case, work hard in order to be able to compete at the highest level once I am back."

The world number two had already been forced pull out of the Toronto and Cincinnati Masters due to the injury he suffered in training last month.

The withdrawal continues an up and down season for the Spaniard as he has failed to match his achievements of 2013, despite claiming a 14th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros back in May.

A back injury bothered the 28-year-old as he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final and he was far from his supreme best early on in the clay court season as he suffered surprise defeats to David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro at the Monte Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open respectively.

He also lost out to world number one Novak Djokovic in the finals of the Miami and Rome Masters, but exacted revenge by preventing the Serb from completing the career Grand Slam with his ninth French Open title.

However, his poor grass court form of recent seasons resurfaced at Wimbledon as he was shocked by 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios in the last 16 in his last outing before being struck down by his latest injury.