September 2, 2014 / 5:14 PM / 4 years ago

Bautista to lead depleted Spain in Davis Cup playoff

Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain reacts during his men's singles match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

MADRID (Reuters) - Captain Carlos Moya has named a depleted team led by 19th-ranked Roberto Bautista for Spain’s Davis Cup World Group playoff against Brazil this month.

The top three Spaniards - injured world number two Rafa Nadal, number five David Ferrer and 18th-ranked Tommy Robredo - are all unavailable so Marcel Granollers and doubles specialists Marc Lopez and David Marrero come into the team for the Sao Paulo tie on Sept. 12-14.

Spain have dominated the Davis Cup over the last decade, winning in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011 but have lost in the first round in the last two competitions, putting their place in the elite World Group in danger.

“We are convinced we will return having got through the tie,” former world number one Moya said on the Spanish tennis federation’s website ( on Tuesday.

“With the tremendous excitement and level of commitment in the team any goal is possible.”

Gustavo Kuerten led Brazil to victory the last time Spain and Brazil met, in 1999, but the Spanish lead the head-to-head record with five wins to Brazil’s two.

Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Tony Goodson

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