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Spain target Fed Cup glory after China win (AFP)

  • 28.04.2008
BEIJING, April 27, 2008 (AFP) - Spain are targeting Fed Cup glory after their comprehensive 4-1 semifinal win over China here Sunday, despite an upcoming clash with the mighty Russians in the final.
Team captain Miguel Margets Lobato said Spain, five-time winners of the competition between 1991 and 1998, had great spirit that could carry them all the way.
The Spanish do not have the big stars they had in the past, following the retirements of players such as Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez but Margets is undaunted.
"No matter what our former glories are, we are putting in a lot of effort now and we don't give up. We will not be afraid of the Russian team. We play with passion and will have a chance to win.
"The Russian team is very powerful with players such as (Maria) Sharapova and also other players in the top 10 but the Spanish team is also strong and we think we have the opportunity to win the cup."
Defending champions Russia sealed their place in the final when Vera Zvonareva battled back from a set down in Moscow to beat Vania King of the United States to give her team an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Spanish world number 76 Nuria Llagostera Vives, who won both her singles matches in Beijing to help fire Spain to an decisive 3-0 lead, agreed that team spirit was crucial to the success of Spain, who beat Italy in the first round.
"I don't know how the team spirit was (in the golden era) but I know what it's like now," she said.
"We have a very close team and good relationships between the players and also the other members of the team such as doctors, physiotherapists and coaches."
And she is keen to get away from the cliche of the Spanish as clay court specialists after their win on the indoor hardcourts here.
"People always talk about the clay game in Spain but it doesn't matter because we have good players and if you want a good ranking you have to play on every surface," Llagostera said.