After easily defeating Slovenia, Romania’s national Davis Cup team is going to face Spain between the 15th and the 17th of July, on home soil. The winner of the match will then compete for in the qualification play-off for a spot in Davis Cup World Group.
At the moment the Romanian Davis Cup team does not have any singles player in ATP Top 100 (best ranked Romanian players being Adrian Ungur – ATP 193 and Marius Copil – ATP 202), however it can count on two of the best ranked players in doubles, Horia Tecău and Florin Mergea. Although, they don’t normally team up in the ATP doubles circuit, they have proven in the last Davis Cup matches that winning against them is a difficult task for any opponent.
On paper, it looks like the worst possible draw for the Romanian team, given the fact that the Spanish team is likely to include Rafael Nadal and Feliciano López. Both players need an extra Davis Cup selection in order to be eligible to play in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, and although they don’t necessarily need compete in any of the 5 matches, they are still required to be part of the team. As a result, Nadal schedule seems to be quite hectic this summer. After taking part in the Davis Cup event, he will fly to take part in Toronto Masters 1000, then the Summer Olympics, and afterwards Cincinatti Master 1000 and finally US Open. Considering that there are no Wild Cards offered in the Olympics, it seems highly unlikely for Nadal to unburden his schedule.
The ITF could however make an exception, taking into consideration that Nadal missed 6 months from the circuit (6th of August 2012-4th of February 2013), but this decision might trigger yet another scandal for the ITF after recent rumours of fixed-matches. The list of eligible players for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics will be revealed by ITF after Roland Garros Grand Slam Tournament.
Photos sources: afanobsessed.sportsblog.com, daviscup.com