LILLE – France Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah says world number one Rafael Nadal's absence from Spain's team in this weekend's semi-final “changes everything”.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion has helped Spain capture the annual trophy four times, in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011, but was ruled out of facing Noah's titleholders in Lille with a knee injury.
The long-standing problem flared up again at the US Open when Nadal had to retire trailing two sets to love in his semi-final against Juan Del Potro last week.
“As a tennis fan I'm disappointed that he won't be there,” Noah told a press conference at Lille's Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Tuesday. “As a captain, it changes everything for the match. The set-up is totally different, especially in terms of preparation.
“When Nadal plays, it's almost (a certain) two points for Spain. Now, that changes and we have to adapt to it.”