Castellon, Spain – Reigning champion Spain will host heavy underdog Austria is a best-of-five Davis Cup quarterfinal this weekend in Castellon.
Friday's opening singles will pit 12th-ranked Spaniard Nicolas Almagro against world No. 21 lefthander Jurgen Melzer and fifth-ranked David Ferrer versus world No. 139 Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer.
Saturday's doubles will pit a Spanish tandem of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez against an Austrian duo of Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya, while Sunday's reverse singles currently call for Ferrer to meet Melzer and Almagro to oppose Haider-Maurer.
The great Rafael Nadal opted against playing for the hosts this week.
Spain is led by rookie captain and former top-five player Alex Corretja, while Austria is piloted by Clemens Trimmel. The Austrians are 3-1 all-time against the Spaniards, including a win in their last meeting in Vienna back in 1995. The two nations first met back in 1934.
The tie will be staged on red clay at Marina d'Or.
Spain beat Argentina in last year's finale to capture its third Davis Cup title in four years and fifth overall championship -- all since 2000. Austria has never won the coveted chalice.
The winner here will battle the France-United States victor in the semifinals in September.