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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 15:31 GMT
Spain delay 'a mistake'
DAVIS CUP FINAL (NOV 28-30)
Spain have made a mistake in delaying their arrival in Melbourne ahead of the Davis Cup final, according to Australia's Todd Woodbridge.

The Spaniards have chosen to do much of their preparation on grass courts in Houston and Barcelona.

"If the match courts plays like this, they're pretty hard and fast already and they're not going to be hard and fast in Barcelona," said Woodbridge.

"I think that plays to our advantage, that they're not here early."

The Spanish squad of Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya, Alex Corretja and Feliciano Lopez will get their first chance to practice on the Melbourne courts on Thursday.

Australia - who have selected Lleyton Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, Wayne Arthurs and Woodbridge - are strong favourites, having chosen to play on grass.

And Woodbridge insists that memories of Australia's surprise defeat to France on the same surface two years ago will not affect the hosts.

"Coming into this one, I just think that our team has got good preparation this time around," he said.

"Lleyton's very fresh, Mark could have had a few more matches but he played very well in Europe and Wayne and I individually have played a lot of matches and played good tennis this year.

"Our team's in shape, it just has to fall our way."



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