Rafael Nadal criticized Spanish Davis Cup captain Gala Leon for what he called a "false and absurd" debate over his uncle and coach Toni Nadal's September comments on Leon's appointment as captain, according to reports.
Nadal said that Leon is fueling the debate's fire rather than trying to unify the team.
“It seems strange to me, as Davis Cup captain, that instead of seeking union and harmony between players, captains and the federation, she has incited and fed a debate that is totally false and absurd,” Nadal said, according to The Guardian.
After Leon was appointed captain in September, Toni Nadal said it was "preferable that [the captain] is someone with a background in the world of men's tennis," comments that many Spanish politicians, media members and other observers classified as sexist.
Leon is Spain's first female Davis Cup captain.
Last month, Leon said that she would not "ask for forgiveness for being a woman." Leon has met with a number of Spanish tennis players, but she has not yet met with Rafael Nadal, according to The Guardian.
Nadal, currently No. 3 on the ATP tour and a 14-time Grand Slam winner, has not played since he had appendix surgery earlier this month. He announced Tuesday that he intends to resume competition in January at an Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament.
France is set to play Switzerland in the final of the Davis Cup this weekend. Spain, which won the Davis Cup in three of four years from 2008-11, lost to Germany in the first round of the 2014 Davis Cup.
- Stanley Kay