New York - Big-serving John Isner wants to see a healthy and fit Rafael Nadal line-up against him in next month's Davis Cup semi-finals, even if it means his Unites States team lose to defending champions Spain.
Nadal, the world No 3 and reigning French Open champion, has been off the tour since his shock Wimbledon second round exit to recover from his latest knee injury.
The Spaniard also missed the Olympics as well as the ongoing US Open.
But Isner is desperate to measure himself against Nadal in the September 14-16 Davis Cup semi-final to be played in Gijon, even though Nadal's name is currently missing from his team's list of nominated players.
"I'm not going to sit here and say that I don't want him to play. Everyone wants him to be healthy. Honestly, if it was up to me, I would want him to play. I would want Spain to send out their absolute best team," said world No 10 Isner.
"Obviously Rafa on clay, he would make that team pretty tough. But if he doesn't get to play, the match is still going to be so tough.
"It's Spain. They're the best tennis country in the world. I would imagine they would throw David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro at us, if I had to guess, two guys that know what they're doing on clay.
"I don't feel like it gets that much easier, even if Rafa doesn't play. If he does happen to play this tie, I know our team is going to go in there believing we can win."
The winner of the semi-final will face either Argentina or the Czech Republic in November's final.