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Monday, November 17, 2008
Del Potro practicing with Argentina following Masters Cup

Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Juan Martin Del Potro began practicing for the Davis Cup final with his Argentine teammates Monday after returning from the Masters Cup.

The 20-year-old Del Potro was eliminated from the seaon-ending tournament in China on Thursday and missed the first few days of training for the Nov. 21-23 final against Spain in Mar del Plata.

Del Potro is ranked No. 9 and is joined on the Argentine team by No. 11 David Nalbandian, Agustin Calleri and Jose Acasuso.

The Spanish team arrived in Argentina on Friday and stepped up its training Monday in an attempt to adapt to the hard courts.

David Ferrer trained for two hours with newcomer Marcel Granollers, who replaced the injured Rafael Nadal. Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco warmed up separately and then played doubles.

"We're adapting as well as possible," Spain captain Emilio Sanchez Vicario. "In some areas the ball's bounce is different than on other courts, but that will affect us just as it will affect Argentina."

Ferrer will play singles Friday in the best-of-five series, with Lopez probably playing other match. Verdasco and Lopez are certain to play doubles Saturday; Argentina has yet to settle on its duo.

"We'll have to wait and see how David finishes Friday," Acasuso said. "The initial plan is that he rest for Sunday, but it's difficult to leave him out of doubles. It all depends on his physical state."