Nadal to miss Davis Cup clash

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Rafael Nadal's exertions at the Australian Open mean he will miss Spain's Davis Cup first-round clash with Croatia this weekend.

Nadal exceeded expectations at Melbourne Park during the opening grand slam of 2017 as he reached the final, the 30-year-old coming up short as Roger Federer edged a thrilling five-set finale.

On his way to the final Nadal disposed of Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov before losing to the Swiss great and Spain's clash in Osijek will come too soon for him to be involved.

He will be replaced by Feliciano Lopez as unseeded Spain look to get past last year's runners-up and reach the quarter-finals.

"I thank Feliciano Lopez for immediate willingness to travel, demonstrating once again his enormous commitment to the team, for which he is a fundamental player," said captain Conchita Martinez.

"The wear and tear of Rafa in the last month has been very significant, he must recover from those efforts and surely he will accompany us if we qualify for the next round."