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Page last updated at 18:45 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

Nalbandian denies Davis Cup row

Nalbandian, Calleri and Juan Martin del Potro
Argentina had been trying to win the Davis Cup for the first time

David Nalbandian has denied claims that he rowed with team-mates as Argentina lost to Spain in the Davis Cup final.

Nalbandian won his team's only point as they crashed 3-1 in Mar del Plata.

He and Agustin Calleri lost the crucial doubles tie on Saturday and there were reports that the pair later squared up in the changing room.

"It really hurts the players when people say things that aren't true," Nalbandian, 26, told a news conference on Monday.

"I heard it throughout the media. Nobody saw anything. Nobody was in the locker room. Nobody knows what happened, and that's what bothers me.

Understand the anguish and unease right now. Things went badly, but the terrible weekend is over

David Nalbandian
"That without knowing what happened from the inside, or from outside, wherever it was, and to do harm to all involved.

"And afterwards we have to definitively come out and defend ourselves."

The world number 11, who has a record of 27 wins and nine defeats in the Davis Cup, insisted that rumours he was considering quitting the Argentina team were untrue.

"It bothers me that people have questioned whether I'm continuing with the Davis Cup or not," he said.

"For me, representing my country is really an honour. I'm going to continue - like I've done until this point - defending Argentina's flag the best way possible."

Argentina went into the final as favourites on home soil, and with world number one Rafael Nadal missing for Spain through injury.

Nalbandian was so upset by the doubles loss that he skipped the mandatory news conference after the match and was fined US$5,000 (3,300).

"Understand the pain of a player not being able to score a point in an important series," he said.

"Understand the anguish and unease right now. Things went badly, but the terrible weekend is over."

It was the third time that Argentina had finished runners-up and they have yet to win the tournament, but Nalbandian is optimistic they can take the final step.

"We made it to two finals in three years," he said. "Why aren't we going to continue having the possibility of reaching our goal?"

Meanwhile, Argentina captain Alberto Mancini has quit in the wake of the defeat.

"It's the end of a cycle, and one during which we got to the final twice and the semi-finals once," he said. "I'm satisfied with what I've been able to do."

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