The Spanish team received a welcome boost on Thursday afternoon as the draw for the Davis Cup first round fixtures this weekend revealed that Great Britain would be without Kyle Edmund, ruled out through injury.
The British number two (26th in the ATP ranking) had trained with the team during the week but has been not able to overcome the minor hip injury he suffered in his semifinal defeat to Croat Marin Čilić at the Australian Open at the weekend.
Edmund joins Andy Murray on the treatment table for Great Britain whose side comprises Dominic Inglot, Jamie Murray and Davis Cup debutants Liam Broady and Cameron Norrie.
The fixtures for the weekend’s action at the Puente Romano tennis club in Marbella were drawn at midday on Thursday at the Trapiche de Guadaiza cultural centre in San Pedro Alcántara.
With Edmund and Murray both out, Spain captain Sergi Bruguera reserved his top-ranked player, Pablo Carreño for Saturday’s doubles fixture (2pm). He will partner Feliciano López -at the expense of David Ferrer- against Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot in what is likely to be Great Britain’s best shot at picking up a point.
This means that Friday's fixtures, which get under way from 11am, will see Albert Ramos and Liam Broady, and Roberto Bautista and Cameron Norrie face off.
The fixtures on Sunday are battles between Ramos and Norrie, and Bautista and Broady, but Spain coach Bruguera will be hoping they will be of little consequence.
Should the scores be 3-0 after the doubles match on Saturday, Sunday’s games will be the best of three sets instead of five, and the fifth game won’t be played at all if there is a four-point lead.
Bruguera, speaking at one of a number of community commitments during the week, said: “Everything is going very well. The players are looking great, they are in good form and we are all looking forward to Friday.
“The court is perfect and the installations are spectacular, as is always the case in Marbella.”